Reagan caught in Missouri

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The armed fugitive who fired on Carroll County deputies before fleeing through the woods in northern Carroll County was captured June 8 after a three-week manhunt that spanned three counties and two states.

Benjamin Leeray Reagan, 33, of Lampe, Mo., was taken into custody last week after a brief standoff with deputies from the Barry and Stone County (Mo.) sheriff’s departments.

“[Officers] were able to get some good information on him at a house up in Stone County today,” chief deputy Maj. Jerry Williams of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office told Carroll County News in a phone interview Wednesday, July 7. “And just a few moments ago, after he had barricaded himself in once more, [officers were] tactically able to go in there and capture the suspect.”

Reagan had been on the run since June 12, when Carroll County deputies interrupted the alleged kidnapping and possible attempted murder of a female subject near the Romp Hole river access on the King’s River in northern Carroll County.

“It’s been an exhausting search,” Williams said. “He ran out of places to go and we finally got him hemmed up, cornered and captured.”

Reagan is facing multiple felony charges in both Arkansas and Missouri, along with several misdemeanors, many of which are related to earlier offenses. Felony charges from Arkansas include two counts of attempted murder of a police officer, kidnapping, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and fleeing, along with several misdemeanor charges for failure to appear, fleeing, driving on a suspended license, no insurance and theft of property.

Missouri charges include violating parole, unlawful use of a weapon (shooting from a motor vehicle toward or at a motor vehicle or person), unlawful use of a weapon (exhibiting), felony property damage, two counts of driving while suspended or revoked and two counts of operating a motor vehicle without financial responsibility.

While some of the charges list a bond amount, Reagan is not eligible to be released because of the parole violation. Reagan pleaded guilty in 2014 to felony drug charges in Stone County Circuit Court and was sentenced to 10 years in state prison, in addition to four years for resisting arrest. The sentences were to run concurrently.

Barry County Sheriff Danny Boyd praised the efforts of reserve deputy Kenen Martinez in the successful capture of Reagan.

“He did very good work,” Boyd said. “I’m very proud of him for taking the initial step to go a little further to check into that, because if not, he’d still be on the loose.”

Last week’s arrest wasn’t Martinez’s first encounter with Reagan. According to reports, Martinez — who also serves as a reserve officer with the Green Forest Police Department — first spotted Reagan on July 1, when he noticed suspicious activity at the Broken Bread and Poured Out Wine donation drop-off building in Eagle Rock, Mo. Martinez did not immediately recognize Reagan because the fugitive had altered his appearance.

According to a news release issued by Boyd, as Martinez approached the vehicle, the male subject started to pull a handgun out of the console but Martinez was able to get him at gunpoint before the subject, later identified as Reagan, could act.

“Reagan abandoned the weapon and fled from the car through the dense wooded area behind the building,” the statement reads. “In the vehicle Reagan abandoned were military-grade explosives, smoke grenades and two hand guns.”

Martinez located documents in the car that led him to an address off State Highway 86 in Lampe, where he and a Stone County deputy conducted a follow-up investigation.

“Kudos to my deputy who did a follow up on finding some information in the car,” Boyd said. “That’s when he went to the address to find out why this gentleman was in that car and that’s when everything kind of blew up.”

On their arrival, the two deputies discovered Reagan had barricaded himself inside the residence. Deputies set a perimeter around the residence and waited for backup.

Officers from Stone County Sheriff’s Office, Barry County Sheriff’s Office, Missouri State Highway Patrol and the U.S. Marshal’s Service all responded to assist. After several hours, officers made telephone contact with Reagan and persuaded him to surrender. Reagan walked out with his hands up and surrender without incident, according to the news release.

After his arrest, Reagan was transported to the Stone County Jail in Galena, Mo.

“He’s facing so many charges up in Stone County, I’m going to assume it may be a while before we have an extradition hearing,” Williams said Wednesday. “It’s a huge relief to get him in custody and provide some safety and security to the citizens of both Arkansas and Missouri.

“This was a guy that had just wanton disregard for public safety.”

The search for Reagan kicked off last month when Carroll County deputies responded to a report of a possible domestic disturbance on County Road 450 near Romp Hole.

The arrest warrant issued for Reagan in Carroll County states that deputies were informed by a woman that Reagan had taken her daughter by force from the residence where she was staying “down into the woods” and that witnesses had heard what they believed to be “at least two gunshots” before they arrived.

According to the warrant, a witness — a cousin — reported that the female subject was in her home when Reagan “barged in,” screaming and yelling for the female subject to get in his vehicle. Once she was in the car, he attempted to leave the residence. According to the witness, the female subject attempted to exit the vehicle, but Reagan pulled her back in, nearly hitting her mailbox in the process.

The witness told deputies that she went and got her keys and called the subject’s mother to tell her what was happening. She told deputies she told the subject’s mother she was scared that Reagan was going to kill the female subject.

The female subject later told deputies that Reagan “kicked in her bedroom door and forced her to get in his vehicle,” stating that as he was pulling out of the driveway, Reagan hit her in the face and pulled her head down between his arm and the center console.

She said she told him she couldn’t breathe and Reagan yelled “I don’t give a f*** about that.” She said he took her to a residence on CR 450, forced her inside and onto the couch where she was further struck. The female subjected reported that Reagan then forced her to walk down the stairs to the water and stated that if she stopped, he would “just kick her down them.”

After their arrival on scene,deputies approached the area where they believed Reagan to be. They heard shouting and threats. When they came into visual contact with Reagan — shirtless and wearing a partial tactical rig — he pointed a semiautomatic rifle described by deputies as an AR platform at them and began firing.

The deputies took cover but were unable to return fire because of the proximity of the female subject whom deputies believe Reagan was planning to kill.

After firing eight or nine shots at the deputies, Reagan took off on foot, heading toward the river. As deputies worked to get the female subject to safety, Reagan fired off a second volley, using it as cover to get across the river.

Once the deputies had secured the female subject, they called in and requested backup to begin the search for Reagan.

Williams said both deputies and the female subject were uninjured.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: