Saturday, May 23, 2015

TOP STORY >> Mistakes result in parolee’s shooting

Leader staff writer

Jonathan McIntosh may have been a modern-day Harry Houdini, and that may have cost him his life.

The 35-year-old parolee was in the custody of law enforcement on Tuesday night in Cabot when he deftly maneuvered his cuffed hands from behind his back to the front of his body. He then fired a pistol at officers from inside a patrol car. Officers returned fired, striking McIntosh. He died later that night at a local hospital.

Dina Tyler, deputy director of communications for the Arkansas Department of Community Correction, told The Leader on Wednesday about the events leading up to Macintosh’s fatal escape act.

Five parole officers with the ACC’s special response team and a Lonoke County sheriff’s deputy went to a house at 905 E. Main St., seeking a man wanted for questioning about a crime in Lonoke.

That man was not at the house, but there were two other men inside the home. McIntosh, 35, identified himself as a parolee.

Officers searched McIntosh and found a small bag of methamphetamines. This violated McIntosh’s parole. His hands were handcuffed behind his back and he was placed in the back of a Lonoke County deputy’s car.

While the investigation continued inside the house, two ACC officers went back to the patrol car to question McIntosh.

Upon opening the car door, they discovered he had worked his cuffed hands to be in front of his body. McIntosh was holding a pistol, and started firing at them, according to police.

The two officers and a sheriff’s deputy returned fire, striking McIntosh several times. An ambulance was called. One of the ACC officers was a medic and performed life-saving treatment on McIntosh.

He was taken to an emergency room and died later.

No law enforcement officers were injured.

The ACC officers have been placed on administrative duty until the investigation into whether using deadly force was justifiable is concluded.

“He was released from prison in September 2014. He had six weeks left of his parole. He met the reporting requirements. He was employed, and he passed the drug tests,” Tyler said.

State Police and the sheriff’s office are continuing to investigate the incident.


How McIntosh was able to move his handcuffed hands from behind his back to the front of his body is an agile feat.

This Leader reporter went to a local police department to see if he could do it but was unsuccessful. He could not move his shoulders enough to get his cuffed hands above his head.

He then tried to slip his cuffed hands under his legs but could not get his arms around his hips.

An officer said one out of 100 people are able to do it. It depends on the person’s body size and how flexible they are.

It also depends on how motivated they are. If under the influence of drugs, they will not feel pain, the officer said.

A detective said rarely does someone handcuffed bring his arms over his head. They would have to be able to dislocate their shoulders and bring them up and out.

The type of cuffs makes a difference, too. Hinged cuffs allow less movement than chain cuffs.


Tyler said there were three possibilities as to how McIntosh could have had a gun inside the patrol car.

She said officers could have missed it during a search of McIntosh but that was highly unlikely since a bag of meth was found on him.

Second, a gun was left in the rear floorboard of the deputy’s car. Or there were many other people around and someone could have possibly passed the pistol into the car.

A local detective suggested that, during the search, the officers involved may not have checked McIntosh all the way from his waist to his boots.

It also depends on how “personal” the officer wanted to get with the McIntosh during the pat down.