Woman leads police on short chase, MHPD officer suffers slight injuries

Photo: Crystal Lou Hodge

A 32-year-old Baxter County woman faces multiple charges after she led authorities on a short chase through Mountain Home after fleeing from a local shopping center.

Crystal Lou Hodge of Mountain Home is being held in the Baxter County Detention Center on $5,000 bond after the incident that forced Patrolman Cody Hilliker to seek medical attention.

Authorities received a call of a female passed out in a vehicle at a midtown shopping center. When Officer Hilliker arrived on scene, he found Hodge passed out in the vehicle and recognized her from previous law enforcement contacts, according to the probable cause affidavit in the case.

When the officer made contact with Hodge, she allegedly stated she did not have a valid driver’s license. When asked to exit the vehicle, Hodge allegedly started the vehicle, and the officer attempted to open the car door. Hodge then performed a “burn out” and fled at a high rate of speed. Patrolman Hilliker reported the vehicle’s door struck him in the left arm and on the left side of his face.

The chase proceeded on to U.S. Highway 62 in front of the downtown square, with Hodge allegedly turning on to Eighth Street and then to Hickory Street. Hodge allegedly ran through multiple stop signs before pulling into the driveway of a vacant lot at 204 Hickory Street.

Hodge refused to exit the vehicle for the patrolman, with other officers removing her from the car and placing her in cuffs.

The woman’s problems were only beginning.

While being booked into the detention center, a jailer matron allegedly found a pack of cigarettes concealed in a body orifice. Authorities then located five alprazolam pills, one clonazepam pill and nine Suboxone strips. Hodge could not provide prescriptions for any of the items.

Authorities would find Hodge had multiple warrants for her arrest, including a no-bond felony warrant.

Hodge faces a felony charge of furnishing, possessing or using prohibited articles in connection with the incident. She also faces misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest; possession of a controlled substance, clonazepam; possession of a controlled substance, alprazolam; fleeing by vehicle or conveyance; driving on a suspended license; reckless driving; and possession of a controlled substance, Suboxone.

Patrolman Hilliker was treated and released from Baxter Regional Medical Center for numbness in his left arm and bruising, according to the affidavit.

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