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Wanted Armed Robber Captured By Ranger

Hot Springs National Park

National Park News

On March 10th, US marshals contacted rangers and asked for assistance in locating Christopher Howard, a wanted armed robbery suspect. A tip had been received that he might be hiding out in the park. Howard, who had been on the run since last October, was wanted for an armed robbery in Little Rock, during which he attacked a security officer with a box cutter. Howard was able to avoid the marshals earlier in the day when they attempted to take him into custody in the park on Bathhouse Row, but he managed to elude capture by fleeing deeper into the park. Cell phone towers picked up transmissions from Howard’s phone as he traveled through the park, but soon the phone went dead and the signal was lost. Rangers Andy Griggs and John Hughes set up surveillance of areas of the park along with other federal agents but were unable to locate Howard. Since nightfall was approaching and Howard was known to be violent and to carry weapons, a decision was made to start looking for him at first light the next day. Around 10:30 p.m. that evening, Griggs was on routine patrol near Arlington Lawn when he saw a couple acting suspiciously near the fountain there. As Griggs approached them, he noticed that the man ducked behind a large boulder. Griggs recognized him as matching the description of the "armed and dangerous" suspect wanted by the marshals. He drew his electronic control weapon and ordered Howard to the ground, but Howard initially refused and began to argue with Griggs, saying that he must be crazy to be pointing his taser at him.  After repeated demands by the ranger, Howard finally complied and went to the ground. Griggs took him into custody without further incident and transported him to the county jail, where his identity was confirmed. Due to additional warrants out for his arrest from Little Rock Police Department and the Saline County Sheriff's Department, fugitive holds were placed on him. The supervisory US marshal contacted the park the next day and recognized Griggs for his actions and attention to detail in the wanted man’s safe and efficient capture.


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