Art Lawler Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Ada — U.S. marshals, along with Ada and Springdale, Ark. police, captured a fugitive wanted in Pontotoc County on a charge of second-degree murder Monday.
Fernando Rojas, 32, of Ada, was arrested in Springdale about 6 p.m. — just three hours after Ada police got a phone call from two frightened, but determined women.
Rojas is the man who, despite his injuries, walked out of Valley View Regional Hospital March 4 after being arrested one day earlier following a one-vehicle crash on U.S. 377 and County Road 1590, three miles south of Ada.
There were three other passengers in a pickup truck driven by Rojas that day. One was Marciano Lopez-Perez, 25, of Ada, who was dead on arrival at Valley View Regional Hospital, and Sandra Castro, 25, who police say was either the wife or girlfriend of Rojas.
She was injured in that crash, too, but was treated and released later that same day.
A fourth passenger in the truck was 3-year-old Allisson Castro of Ada. She was unhurt.
Sandra Castro told law-enforcement authorities Monday she had been held against her will ever since the crash.
Law enforcement authorities had to move quickly to make the arrest in Arkansas before Rojas could come home and discover Castro wasn’t there.
But first, Castro, had to get help from an Arkansas woman at a business establishment — which she did.
The woman called Ada police and translated Castro’s story.
In the end everything worked out for the women and police in Ada and federal marshals and police in Springdale.
Rojas was arrested without incident.
The long ordeal began March 3 when Rojas’ blood alcohol level rose to nearly four times the legal limit, resulting, authorities say, in Rojas not being able to control the pickup he was steering and drove off the highway at U.S. 377 and County Road 1590.
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