April 20, 2010 the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department arrested Matthew Hawkins age 31 of Melbourne for aggravated assault, fleeing, criminal mischief, burglary, theft of property, reckless driving and driving on a suspended driver’s license.
The arrest came after Jonesboro Police tried to stop the vehicle Hawkins was driving for unauthorized use of a vehicle out of Melbourne and Hawkins fled, leading the Jonesboro police on a chase into Greene County. Hawkins made several attempts to hit the officer’s vehicles with the one he was driving. Hawkins was able to get away from the officers and fled into Lawrence County at around 3 am. Officers from the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, the Walnut Ridge Police Department, Bono Police Department, and the Hoxie Police Department then tried to stop the vehicle. Hawkins again tried several times to hit the Lawrence County Officers cars ,finally hitting a deputies car,losing control of his vehicle and going into the ditch. The deputies car received heavy damage from the hit. Hawkins then drove his vehicle back onto the roadway to continue fleeing from officers. Hawkins ran through a closed gate destroying it and then fled the vehicle on foot near the rest area at Black Rock. Officers searched in the darkness but were unable to locate Hawkins. Tracking dogs were called out to help in the search as were the State Police, Black Rock Police Department, Arkansas Game and Fish and many other officers. Hawkins was spotted several times but repeatedly ran into heavy wooded areas leading officers on a full day of foot pursuit through the county . A helicopter and an airplane were used in the search for the suspect as well. At about 11pm that night Hawkins went to a residence near Denton and the home owner called the Sheriff’s Dept. Deputies . State Police responded and placed Hawkins under arrest without incident. Hawkins was transported to the Lawrence County Jail to await a bond hearing.