Watch Ark. Police Chief Stop Stolen U-Haul with Molotov Cocktails, Guns

Feb. 9, 2024
Tontitown's police chief executed a PIT maneuver to disable a stolen U-Haul van loaded with firearms and incendiaries during a high-speed chase that began in Oklahoma.

An Arkansas police ran into a U-Haul van loaded with guns and Molotov cocktails Wednesday to end a high-speed chase with the stolen vehicle.

The pursuit began in Oklahoma when Locust Grove police tried to stop the stolen van on U.S. Highway 412, KHBS-TV reports. The chase continued near Colcord, where the U-Haul collided head-on with another vehicle.

That crash didn't stop the van, which crossed into Arkansas, through Tontitown and into Springdale, at speeds of over 120 mph. As the U-Haul neared an exit along Interstate 49 in Springdale, Tontitown Police Chief Corey Jenison performed a PIT maneuver to finally stop the vehicle.

The crash sent the U-Haul spinning, and Jenison's cruiser flipped over multiple times. Jenison suffered minor injuries, and he was back on duty the next day. The maneuver was captured by the dashboard camera in the chief's cruiser.

"Had not immediate and aggressive actions, if they weren't taken yesterday to end this, there's very little doubt that a member of the public would have gotten hurt," said Tontitown Police Det. Keith Lindley, the agency's public information officer. "Our stance here is the priority of life. It's like having someone point a loaded gun into a crowd. You have a big van like this with so many people on our highway, we're going to try to end that as quickly as we possibly can."

Once the van was stopped, police discovered firearms and Molotov cocktails inside. Officers also arrested two suspects from Michigan who were in the U-Haul.

"Initial conversations with them was that they were headed back to the Michigan area and for whatever purpose, that they were going to use those firearms or a Molotov cocktail," said Lindley said. "I cannot think of a legitimate reason."

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