Arkansas woman facing motor vehicle theft, other charges

Ashanta Hemphill mug shot courtesy of the Lincoln Parish Detention Center.

By T. Scott Boatright

An Arkansas woman remained in the Lincoln Parish Detention Center Monday with a $95,000 bond after being arrested on Saturday and faces multiple charges including theft of a motor vehicle.

Ashanta Hemphill, 31, of 1019 Adams Street in Little Rock, was traveling west on La. Hwy. 150 is charged with the one count of motor vehicle theft, one count of theft from a motor vehicle, hit and run, three counts of resisting a police officer, aggravated assault on a police officer and failure to report an accident.

A Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s deputy was on patrol Saturday when he was advised by an all-points bulletin of a 2006 green Toyota Highlander that had previously been reported stolen and was coming out of the city of Ruston after being involved in a pedestrian hit and run.

The deputy reported he was traveling southbound on RWE Jones Drive in Grambling when in his rearview mirror he observed a green Toyota Highlander turn west onto La. Highway 150.

Hemphill’s arrest affidavit says that after turning around to follow the Highlander the deputy activated his rooftop emergency lights and sirens he attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Humphrey Lane. He reported that Hemphill turned south on Humphrey Lane and traveled to the end of the road before turning around driving directly toward the deputy’s patrol car in his lane of traffic.

The deputy reported having to take evasive action to keep from crashing into the suspect’s vehicle and then turned around and got behind the suspect’s vehicle now traveling east on La. Hwy. 150.

When the suspect’s vehicle came to a stop on La. Hwy. 150 the deputy ordered the suspect, later identified as Hemphill, out of the vehicle at gunpoint and directed her to walk to the rear of the vehicle. Hemphill’s arrest affidavit says that as the deputy tried to handcuff Hemphill she pulled away several times before he was able to secure her.

The deputy reported advising Hemphill of her Miranda rights which she said she understood. The deputy then placed Hemphill in the back of the patrol car until Ruston Police Department officers could arrive at the scene.

While three LPSO deputies attempted to transfer Hemphill to the police unit she reportedly became combative and tried pulling away from them before being secured in the RPD vehicle and transported to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center.

The truck had been stolen out of the parking lot of the Courtyard Marriott on Maxwell Boulevard in Ruston and the Highlander’s owner told RPD officers that she believed a black female with blue hair that had been hanging around the hotel “for the past few days” stole the vehicle.

The arresting RPD officer said the he had also had a report of a theft at the AT&T store on the North Service Road. Hemphill’s arrest affidavit says that while the complainant was inside the store she observed a black female with blue hair open the driver’s side door of the complainant’s vehicle and go inside of it.

That complainant told RPD officers that she confronted Hemphill and that Hemphill started cursing her and walking toward the Courtyard Marriott. The complainant of the theft from a vehicle said that $70 had been stolen from the vehicle.

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