Isabella man reportedly rams police vehicles in stolen truck then flees
Isabella resident John Davidson, 39, is facing several felony charges related to a July 10 incident in which Davidson is alleged to have stolen a truck from Taney County, rammed two Douglas County Deputies’ vehicles and then fled in a high-speed vehicle pursuit and later a foot pursuit.
Davidson is now charged in Douglas County with two counts of assaulting an officer, two counts of armed criminal action, tampering with a motor vehicle, possession of methamphetamine, three counts of property damage and assault to a police animal.
The two assault-on-a-police-officer charges are class A felonies. If Davidson is convicted of those charges, he could face 10 to 30 years in prison on each count – or life imprisonment.
He was arrested on a Taney County warrant for burglary, stealing and two no-bond warrants issued in Arkansas cases, according to a Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post.
“I would like to commend the work of [Douglas County] Cpl. Taylor Wallace and Deputy James Nelson for their persistence and ability to rely on their training to ensure there was no one injured during this incident,” Douglas County Sheriff Chris DeGase wrote on Facebook following Davidson’s arrest.
According to the probable cause statement in the case, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office received a call from an Arkansas bondsman who told Douglas County Cpl. Taylor Wallace that John Davidson was in the Douglas County area in a 2003 black Chevy four-door truck with a lift kit and large tires. The truck, reportedly stolen from Taney County, was said to have the license plate identifier as STAN 3, representing the truck’s owner, Stanley Weeks.
The bondsman also said Davidson had multiple active warrants for his arrest, including a warrant with the U.S. Marshal’s Office, the report says.
Wallace verified that Davidson did have active warrants and that the truck had been reported stolen.
The bondsman then told Davidson he had received information that Davidson was driving around the area of Douglas County Road 537 off NN Highway, and he asked Wallace and Douglas County Deputy James Nelson if they would be able to assist him in locating Davidson.
Finding the stolen truck
The two officers began patrolling the area and soon observed a vehicle matching the description of the Taney County stolen truck sitting at the Grundy Archery Range, facing away from the officers’ patrol vehicle.
Ramming the officers’ vehicles
Nelson and Wallace pulled in behind the vehicle and activated their emergency lights. As the officers approached the truck, its reverse lights turned on as if the vehicle was going to back up, and a woman, later identified as Teresa Williams, jumped out of the passenger’s side of the vehicle.
Davidson backed the truck toward the patrol vehicles and then attempted to drive forward at a high rate of speed, the report says, but the truck’s tires spun in the loose gravel.
Wallace exited his patrol vehicle and gave Davidson loud verbal commands to immediately stop the truck. But Davidson put the truck in reverse again and accelerated backward, deliberately backing into Nelson’s marked patrol vehicle, according to the statement.
After hitting Nelson’s police vehicle, Davidson allegedly accelerated again and smashed into the front end of Wallace’s truck.
“As John struck my truck, he continued aggressively accelerating through the contact, and his truck forcing my patrol truck into me, causing me to walk away from my patrol truck and place myself into a direct line of travel with John Davidson’s truck,” Wallace’s report says. “After John Davidson [saw] that I was forced into a direct line of travel with his truck, John Davidson continued to accelerate his vehicle directly at me, forcing me to get out of the way or be struck by his vehicle.”
Wallace writes in the report that his K9 unit, Kain, was inside the truck while Davidson was ramming the vehicle.
Vehicle, then foot pursuit
Wallace reportedly narrowly missed getting hit by the truck. Davidson fled the scene in the stolen vehicle, and Wallace reportedly got into his patrol vehicle and began pursuing him at high speed.
Davidson turned westbound on NN Highway in Douglas County, continuing straight off the end of the highway and onto County Road 546 as Wallace pursued him with emergency lights and sirens activated.
Davidson continued down the county road for 1 mile and turned into a property of a man who lives in Texas. Davidson reportedly drove through the man’s locked gate, damaging the gate and fence post. Wallace followed him and soon came upon the stolen vehicle, which had been wrecked into a tree.
When Davidson reportedly crawled out of the crashed truck’s passenger’s side door and began to flee on foot, Wallace pursued him on foot through a wooded area.
Wallace had almost caught up to Davidson when the suspect reportedly spun around, hid his right arm behind his back and told the officer, “I have a gun! I have a gun!”
Wallace reportedly attempted to deploy his taser at Davidson, but the barbs caught in a tree branch.
Davidson gave up and allowed Wallace to place him in handcuffs. During the arrest, Wallace reportedly found a plastic bag of a crystal substance, consistent with methamphetamine, sticking out of Davidson’s right front pant pocket.
Wallace said the damage to his patrol truck was estimated by a local body shop at $6,100. The damage to Nelson’s patrol vehicle is approximately $2,000.
Wallace wrote in his report that he believes Davidson’s criminal past should be considered in the affidavit. He lists the following convictions:
July 16, 2017: arrested for stalking, domestic battery, terroristic threatening and endangering the welfare of a child
April 4, 2018: arrested for felony-level possession of a controlled substance
Oct. 11, 2018: arrested for felony-level possession of a controlled substance
Dec. 13, 2018: arrested for illegally possessing firearms, felony-level possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a defaced firearm
Feb. 9, 2019: arrested for felony-level possession of a controlled substance
April 12, 2000: arrested for involuntary manslaughter with a vehicle while intoxicated
Dec. 10, 2009: arrested for felony-level possession of a controlled substance
June 17, 2010: arrested for felony-level possession of a controlled substance
May 29, 2017: arrested for burglary and felony-level stealing of items worth $25,000 or more.