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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Lewondowski arrest

A former Mountain Pine man who was on parole and being sought on felony warrants was arrested Thursday afternoon after a massive manhunt and a brief stand-off at a local inn.

Nicholas Matthew Lewondowski, 29, was taken into custody at the Hamilton Oaks Inn, 5380 Central Ave., shortly before 4:30 p.m. after officers with the Garland County Tactical Response Team made forced entry into a room he was hiding in.

Garland County Sheriff’s Deputy A.J. Tart said at the scene shortly after the suspect was extracted that Lewondowski had been sought on the warrants for several weeks.

He said GCSD Deputy Phil Fisher was on patrol shortly before 2 p.m. in the area of Pinehill Road, located off the 5400 block of Central, when he spotted Lewondowski and recognized him as the one being sought.

He attempted to take Lewondowski into custody but he fled into the woods, nearby so GCSD, Hot Springs Police, Arkansas State Police and Arkansas Department of Corrections officers and K-9 units were brought in to begin a massive search of the surrounding areas.

The search had been going on for about two hours when a witness spotted the suspect and an unidentified white female going into one of the condos at Hamilton Oaks, Tart said.

At that point, the TRT team was brought in and secured the area and knocked on the door in an attempt to get Lewondowski to surrender. Tart noted the suspect was considered armed and “extremely dangerous” because of his past history.

Lewondowski refused to come out, so the team ultimately had to force its way in, and located the suspect inside reportedly hiding under a sofa and removed him without further incident.

A white female was also taken into custody at the scene, although it wasn’t known late Thursday what if any charges she might be facing.

Lewondowski has a lengthy criminal history, including convictions in June 2003 for second-degree battery, two counts of theft by receiving more than $2,500, three counts of theft by receiving of a firearm and two counts of theft of property more than $500, and in May and June 2005 for theft, breaking or entering and fraudulent use of a credit card.

He was arrested again Dec. 23, 2010, and charged with first-degree battery and possession of a firearm by certain persons after his involvement in an incident on Westover Street in which a local man, 46, was shot in the leg.

The exact nature of the warrants Lewondowski was being sought on or what charges he may face after the events of Thursday.

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