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Enforcement Checkpoint Nets Fugitive Felon

Hot Springs National Park

National Park News

Rangers conducted an enforcement checkpoint along West Mountain Drive on Friday, July 13th in an effort to curb drunken driving and to respond to numerous complaints of illegal sexual activity in the area. During the enforcement checkpoint, rangers checked 70 vehicles, issued seven traffic citations, made one arrest for driving under the influence, one drug arrest, and charged one man with sexual solicitation for sex. One of those cited approached the checkpoint without a license and with two toddler-aged children in the front seat who were not buckled in to car seats. This was the first of several planned enforcement patrols in this area of the park, as rangers continue their efforts to reduce impaired driving and other hazardous situations that put park visitors at risk. Later that evening, rangers on routine patrol near the West Mountain overlook encountered a man and woman parked and acting suspiciously. When rangers approached the man, later identified as Jason Pitts, 26, of Pulaski County, they quickly noticed his nervousness, anxiety, and his evasiveness in answering some of their questions. Rangers noticed the word "WANTED" tattooed on Pitts’ right forearm and observed his attempt to hide his identification from them, tossing it from his wallet onto the vehicle’s floorboard. Pitts was reported to have been "sizing up" the rangers and taking notice of their defensive gear. A routine database inquiry indicated that Pitts had been on the run from law enforcement for felony drug trafficking and theft warrants. A criminal history inquiry revealed that Pitts is a career criminal who had spent considerable time in prison. After Pitts was taken into custody, a hidden  handcuff key was found in his possession.  Rangers transported him to the Garland County Jail where he was held for the agency holding the warrants.



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