Escapee fights with Texarkana officer over gun

Joe Dean Keaton (source Texarkana, AR Police Dept.)
Joe Dean Keaton (source Texarkana, AR Police Dept.)

TEXARKANA, AR (KSLA) - A Texarkana, AR officer chasing an escaped inmate ended up in a fight with the escapee over the officer's gun.

On Saturday evening, Texarkana Police say 31-year-old Joe Dean Keaton was returning to the county jail on E. 5th Street from his work release program. When the van he was in arrived at the jail, police say Keaton ran away.

Authorities say minutes later, Keaton walked in to the McDonald's on E. 7th Street and pulled a knife on a husband and wife eating inside. Keaton reportedly demanded money and the couple's vehicle. The man gave Keaton $20, who then ran out of the restaurant.

Police say Keaton next tried to steal a car in the drive-thru line. He reportedly opened the driver's door and tried to push the driver into the passenger seat. However, the victim managed to drive away before Keaton could get the car, and Keaton instead left the parking lot on foot.

Officers who arrived at the scene moments later began searching the area. Officer Jeremy Poole found Keaton hiding behind a dumpster in the 1000 block of Stateline. Police say Keaton ran off, with Poole chasing behind. But a half-block later, police say Keaton turned and rushed Officer Poole, grabbing his wrist and gun. Both men fought over the weapon until Officer Chris Estes arrived, followed by Officer Joe Rochelle. Together they were able to arrest Keaton.

Keeton now faces three charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, resisting arrest, flight from an officer, and second-degree escape.