Arkansas Man Accused Of Shooting Woman With BB Gun, Leading Cops On High-Speed Chase


HEMPSTEAD COUNTY, Ark.–A Saratoga, Ark., man has been charged with battery, theft, driving while intoxicated, evading, resisting arrest and a long list of other charges in connection with an April 3 call to police regarding a reckless driver.

Residents in Saratoga, Ark., called 911 to report that Thomas Darling, 57, was driving a Chevrolet Equinox in a reckless manner and at high speeds in their neighborhood and “causing a disturbance all day,” according to a probable cause affidavit on file in Hempstead County circuit court.

While deputies were speaking with the caller outside their home, Darling allegedly came walking toward them with a rake in his hands while saying, “Come on, come on.” Deputies were walking up Darling’s driveway to speak with him when he allegedly got in the Equinox and started driving toward the deputies before swerving toward their patrol units.

Darling allegedly avoided the cruisers and turned onto Highway 234 with officers in pursuit. Deputies caught up to Darling as he allegedly drove toward Hope, Ark., at speeds reaching 109 miles per hour on Highway 73.

Darling allegedly ignored the sirens and flashing lights behind him as he traveled, at times driving in the middle of the highway and putting other motorists at risk. Darling allegedly stopped his vehicle quickly in an attempt to get the deputy behind him to crash into the boat he was pulling and reportedly ran several stop signs and lights and he led the deputies toward Hope and then toward Washington, Ark.

In Hope, Darling allegedly continued to drive recklessly as he turned onto Interstate 30 toward Emmett, Ark., passing other cars on the shoulder and reaching speeds of 111 miles per hour. He finally stopped the car in Emmett in the 2800 block of Highway 67 and approached officers with a knife in his hand.

When ordered to drop the blade, Darling allegedly said, “No,” but complied after being hit with a taser. Inside the Chevy, deputies found multiple knives and a .22 caliber pistol. At the Hempstead County Detention Center, Darling allegedly refused to take a breath test or sign any paperwork.

A woman who had been in the house that Darling had driven from in Saratoga, told deputies from the back of an ambulance that Darling took her phone and broke it so she could not call for help, that he shot her twice in the head with a BB gun, had threatened to kill her and had taken her car and boat without her permission. Darling had allegedly punched in the face repeatedly and cut a chunk of her hair off with a knife, telling her that he was “going to scalp her like an old Indian.”

In addition to her car and boat, the woman reported that Darling had stolen her .22 caliber pistol and her debit and credit cards, the affidavit said.

Darling has been charged with a sizable list of felonies and misdemeanors. Felony charges he faces include domestic battery, fleeing in a vehicle, theft of property and terroristic threatening. In addition to a misdemeanor DWI charge, Darling faces a number of traffic violations related to his alleged reckless driving.

Jail records show Darling is currently being held in the Hempstead County jail.

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