Man appears in court facing charges picked up inside and outside of county jail

A 21-year-old Bull Shoals man who faces new charges stemming from a jail fight appeared in Baxter County Circuit Court July 11.

Andy Wayne Baker, Jr., is reported to have been involved in the altercation in mid-June.

Baker indicated twice that he was guilty of the charges stemming from the jail fight, but a plea is seldom accepted until the person charged has at least some opportunity to meet with an attorney.

According to the probable cause affidavit, a jailer was alerted to the altercation when she heard “loud yelling” coming from the A-Pod section of the jail. She went to a cell in that pod and found Baker and another inmate fighting between bunks.

After a review of surveillance camera footage, it was determined that the inmates were arguing on two occasions. The verbal confrontation eventually sparked a physical altercation.

It was reported that Baker “appeared to be trying to choke” the other inmate.

When the two inmates were separated, blood was visible on the side of the head and coming from the mouth of the inmate Baker had been fighting with.

The injured inmate was first seen by the nurse at the jail and then transported to Baxter Regional Medical Center where he was treated for a broken jaw.

Baker was charged with felony battery and impairing the operations of a vital public facility.

INITIAL JAILING

Baker was an inmate in the detention center after being taken into custody June 3 when he met police wrapped in a towel, fresh from a bath in a house he had allegedly broken into.

The incident began when a Gassville man called police on May 12 and reported someone was breaking into his house along Main Street.

The victim was not staying in the house at the time but wanted police to get the intruders out.

When a Gassville Police Department officer went to the home on the evening the break-in was reported, he saw that the front door was open.

The officer was first met by a female and then made contact with Baker who was reported to be “wrapped in a towel after just having a bath.”

The female initially claimed the couple had permission to be in the house, but the officer was aware from the victim’s report that the couple should not be in the residence.

Baker was allowed to put on shorts and as he was doing so, he is reported to have “jumped forward” and attempted to push the Gassville officer aside so he could flee out the front door.

A brief wrestling match ensued and Baker was able to slip out of the officer’s grip and take off on foot.

An Arkansas State Police Trooper caught him after a short pursuit.

Baker had a number of scratches from running through brush and briars and was taken to Baxter Regional Hospital for treatment of his wounds.

When no officers were present to take him into custody, he was released after treatment was completed. He appears to have remained free for about 23 days.

His bond set at $5,000. In the initial case, he is charged with breaking or entering, resisting arrest and fleeing.

PAROLE VIOLATED

The new charges triggered a parole violation from an earlier criminal case opened on Baker.

In late May 2020, Baker was arrested and charged with rummaging through vehicles parked at a home along Highway 62/412 East.

A Baxter County sheriff’s deputy responded to the victim’s home. The woman said she had been sleeping when the sound of a car door closing woke her.

The victim said when she looked out a window; she saw a shirtless male searching through her vehicles.

After seeing the man, the woman said she yelled “get the gun, someone is in my car” and began clicking the door locks as if preparing to come outside.

The man later identified as Baker fled, running down the highway toward Mountain Home.

Baker was picked up when he was reported to have been walking down the middle of the highway and trying to flag down vehicles.

When questioned, Baker told investigators he had been walking to Mountain Home after a friend dropped him off at a business along Highway 62/412.

Baker fit the description of the man seen earlier going through vehicles.

Deputies reported he was mumbling and not making sense and had the smell of intoxicants about him.

Baker asked the deputies for a ride into Mountain Home so he could get a place to sleep. They gave him a ride and a place to sleep – in the Baxter County jail.

Baker was sentenced to three years in prison and was out on parole when arrested for breaking into the house in Gassville in May.

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