Unclothed escapees and more metal thefts were reported by the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office. "You can’t make this up," Lt. Jim Kulesa, public information officer, remarked about the escape attempt.
At about 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 16, Alicia Dawn Ballard, 23, also known as Alicia Dawn Hall, was escorted by Lonoke County detention officers to Sherwood Urgent Care Unit at Lonoke with a medical complaint.
Ballard was being held at the Lonoke County Detention Facility on a no-bond warrant for drug violations. Ballard also has an arrest warrant from Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office for fleeing, resisting arrest, second-degree assault, and theft by receiving.
Ballard’s shackles were removed at the clinic preparing for her examination. However, after Ballard removed her pants she "slammed the door in the Detention Officer’s face."
Ballard fled the building through another door. Deputies and Lonoke police officers immediately began a search of the area.
Clad only in a T-shirt and underwear, Ballard ran to a house where she asked the resident to let her use their phone because of an emergency.
The resident let Ballard to use the phone, gave her some clothes to wear, and then called the police. However, Ballard left the house while the resident was calling the police.
A passing motorist gave Ballard a ride because it appeared to the driver that Ballard needed help.
The driver noticed the officers searching the area, and then Ballard said she was the object of the hunt, that she was running from the officers.
The driver then drove to the Lonoke Police Department where Ballard jumped out of the car and ran to a residential area.
Ballard was found at about 3 p.m., hiding in some bushes outside a residence.
Ballard was then returned to the Lonoke County Detention Facility.
The sheriff’s press release noted that Ballard is expected to face an additional felony charge of second-degree escape.
In another, unrelated incident, the sheriff’s office received another report of metal theft. This time copper wire stolen from a church construction project.
The sheriff’s office earlier this month issued a call for help to stem the mounting tide of metal thefts, and the damage caused by metal thieves.
In the recent report, made at about 8:40 p.m. Dec. 12, the sheriff’s office was told of a metal theft at the New Beginning Mission Church, on Highway 294, at Lonoke. Deputy Clint Eifling and Investigator Matt Edwards responded to the report.
Investigators found that someone had entered the church through the rear door and stripped the copper wiring from a new room under construction.
The theft is believed to have occurred sometime between Sunday and Wednesday morning.
Damage is estimated at $2,500.
In a press release calling for citizens’ help to stop the metal thefts, Capt. Jim Kulesa, sheriff’s public information officer, said 2012 has seen an increase in thefts.
Since January 2012, there have been 91 thefts of various metals reported; since the beginning of November, there have been at least nine thefts of metal including copper, Kulesa said.
One farm has seen losses mount to an estimated $70,000, including the cost of repairs to damaged equipment, Kulesa said.
It is anyone’s guess how many thefts go unreported in which the victim simply replaces or repairs stolen equipment, he said.
Anyone who may have seen anything suspicious or have information regarding the theft from the church or other metal thefts is asked to contact the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office 501-676-3000.