Focus of Arkansas manhunt arrested in Cape

Friday, February 15, 2013
An unidentified woman is detained by Cape Girardeau police after a pursuit ended Thursday at the intersection of Cape Rock Drive and Perryville Road. Three people, including the driver of the vehicle, a red Ford truck, were detained. (ADAM VOGLER)

Cape Girardeau police apprehended three Arkansas suspects Thursday night, including one who had been the focus of an intense 35-hour manhunt and was considered so dangerous that those who lived near the search were cautioned to stay in their homes.

Eric Kent of Brookland, Ark., his father and an unidentified female passenger were taken into custody about 6:30 p.m. at the intersection of Cape Rock Drive and Perryville Road, police said. Cpl. Paul Zajicek of the Cape Girardeau Police Department would confirm only that the three were from Arkansas, that one was arrested on warrants and that charges were pending for the other two. But the Arkansas State Police, which had been part of the search for Kent since late Tuesday evening, confirmed for a Southeast Missourian reporter that those in custody here were Kent, his father and a woman.

Cape Girardeau police attempted a traffic stop of a red Ford pickup truck, Zajicek said, and officers gave chase when the driver refused to stop. Kent, who was thought to be driving, led officers down Cape Rock Drive until they managed to have the truck and the trailer it was hauling pulled over. The men fled on foot for a short distance, but officers had them in custody quickly and without injury, Zajicek said.

An unidentified man is detained by Cape Girardeau police after a pursuit ended Thursday, Feb. 14, at the intersection of Cape Rock Road and Perryville Road. Three people, including the driver of the vehicle, a red Ford truck, were detained. (Adam Vogler)

The woman cursed the officers and struggled against them as they placed her in handcuffs and into a squad car.

Anthony Williams, who lives on Cape Rock Drive, said he barely managed to get his car in the driveway when he saw the truck speed past him. Williams and some friends had ringside seats and saw as the officers, with guns drawn, took the men into custody and later the woman.

"It was scary," Williams said. "They come tearing down here and almost had a wreck."

A manhunt for Kent was being conducted in northeast Arkansas by the state police and sheriffs' departments from Craighead County and Green County. Published reports from Arkansas say Kent was wanted after allegedly assaulting a woman. Jonesboro, Ark., police said the victim was found walking into the garage of a Jonesboro home Wednesday morning.

The victim told police Kent beat her severely when she stopped by his home Tuesday night. The resident who found her described her as covered in blood and with blackened eyes. She also claimed Kent forced her into his Jeep Cherokee and continued to assault her, she believed, because she had been at her ex-boyfriend's home earlier in the day. She managed to escape, she said, after Kent pulled into a gas station.

Officers who came upon Kent tried to pull his vehicle over in Arkansas, when he fled. Police pursued him, but lost sight of him. That's when he apparently picked up his father and, at some point, the unidentified woman and exchanged his Jeep for the Ford pickup. The three made their way the 150 miles to Cape Girardeau.

Police used helicopters and K-9 units in the search for Kent. Police found a pistol that was thought to be Kent's.

smoyers@semissourian.com

388-3642

Pertinent address:

Cape Rock Drive and Perryville Road, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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