Man who fled after armed ATV owner corners him makes court appearance

Photo: Keaton Garrett Seats

A Mountain Home man who had a very short argument with the armed owner of an ATV he was allegedly trying to steal appeared in Baxter County Circuit Court Thursday.

Nineteen-year-old Keaton Garrett Seats, whose last known address was along Christensen Road, has already entered a plea of not guilty to theft of property charges. He had been given a plea offer to look over, but told the court he was rejecting the terms.

He has been an inmate in the Baxter County Detention Center since being arrested Sept. 27. His bond is set at slightly more than $5,000.

In mid-September, a man called the 911 Center to report the theft of a Mule from his residence along Hickory Ridge Drive.

The victim said he had been inside his home when he heard the side-by-side ATV start and saw it being driven out of his yard.

According to the probable cause affidavit, the victim got into his truck and followed the ATV. He was able to stop it and then displayed a weapon to the young male driver.

The victim warned the alleged thief to “sit still” until police arrive. The male on the ATV, later identified as Seats, asked the victim why he was pointing a gun at him. The victim answered with a question — “why are you driving my Mule?”

Seats then allegedly claimed ownership of the ATV. After only a short time staring down the barrel of the owner’s gun, he dropped the ownership claim and fled into the woods. The victim returned the ATV to his residence.

The victim identified Seats as the person who had allegedly stolen his ATV from photographs.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Seats had been staying with a relative in the immediate area. The teenager had been reported as missing by the relative and was said to have been living in nearby woods.

According to court records, Seats has also run into problems with the law in Pope and Searcy counties.

In mid-February, he was convicted in Pope County Circuit Court of possessing a controlled substance and sentenced to 36 months probation.

The Pope County sentence was entered under provisions of Act 346, the first offenders law. If Seats had remained out of trouble for the duration of his probation, he could have applied to the courts to have his record sealed.

But, two revocation petitions have been filed in the case based on violations of the terms and conditions of Seats’ probation.

The first revocation petition was filed in the Pope County case in June alleging violations of the terms and conditions of Seats’ probation, including picking up a misdemeanor charge of possessing drug paraphernalia in Searcy County in early May.

It was also noted Seats had not arranged for substance abuse counseling as ordered. Seats’ probation was reset to the original 36 months, and he was ordered jailed for 30 days.

A second petition was filed in mid August, just 72 days after the first petition, when Seats failed to report to his probation officer. A warrant for his arrest remains outstanding. A hearing date is to be set after he is arrested, according to Pope County Circuit Court records.

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