On Monday October 16, 2023, Izard County Investigator Blake Cruz along with Izard County Deputy Casey Goggans responded to the Pioneer Nursing Home and Rehab in Melbourne to take a theft report. Upon arriving Cruz and Goggans made contact with a maintenance worker who advised that someone stole items out of a shed behind the nursing home. The worker stated he observed an unfamiliar vehicle behind the nursing home which he described as being a white in color Ford Expedition hauling a tandem axle trailer. Upon arriving back to work, the worker noticed the shed door flopping in the wind and discovered the theft. Deputies Cruz and Goggans were able to identify the suspect Edward Eastwood and vehicle by camera footage and other investigative efforts.
Officers then responded to where they believed Eastwood could be located in the Oxford area. Upon arriving, officers observed the suspect vehicle driven by Eastwood pulling out of a driveway with a loaded trailer. Officers then initiated a traffic stop with Eastwood to further investigate the theft report and for traffic infractions. Officers made contact with Eastwood and observed an item that matched the description of reported stolen property in the back of the Ford Expedition. Officers asked Mr. Eastwood to exit the vehicle but instead of doing so, Eastwood put his vehicle in drive and sped away from officers. While speeding away, Eastwood nearly ran over an officer. The officer shot one round at the suspect vehicle while trying to protect himself and in an attempt to disable the suspect vehicle from creating a substantial risk to the public. Deputies then gave chase to Eastwood which lasted for over 15 miles. While fleeing in the vehicle, Eastwood attempted to ram police officers’ vehicles 5 additional times. Officers were able to box Eastwood into pulling off the highway where he fled the vehicle on foot. Officers gave chase which lasted for approximately one hundred feet; at which point Eastwood surrendered to authorities and was arrested. At the time of the arrest, Eastwood had multiple illicit narcotics on his person and there were multiple stolen items recovered from the vehicle and trailer that was driven by him.
Edward Eastwood is being charged with the following regarding the incident on October 16th, 2023:
Theft of Property ($5,000 or less but more than $1,000), a class “D” felony, in violation of A.C.A 5-36-103 (a)(1)(b)(3)(A)
Breaking or Entering, a class “D” felony, in violation of A.C.A 5-39-202 (a)(1)(c)
Fleeing, a class “D” felony, in violation of A.C.A 5-54-125 (a)(b)(2)
Fleeing on foot, a class “C” misdemeanor, in violation of 5-54-125 (a)(b)(2)
Aggravated Assault, a class “D” felony, in violation of 5-13-204 (a)(1)(b)
Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance to wit; Methamphetamine weighing two grams or more but less than ten grams, a class “C” felony, in violation of A.C.A 5-64-419 (a)(b)(1)(B)
Possession of a Schedule I Controlled Substance (Not Meth or Cocaine) weighing two grams or more but less than twenty-eight grams, a class “C” felony, in violation of A.C.A 5-64-419 (a)(b)(2)(B)