LEE COUNTY, Ark. – A manhunt is underway after officials with the Arkansas Department of Corrections said that an inmate escaped from the East Arkansas Regional Unit in Brickeys Friday morning.
According to the ADC, 38-year-old Samuel Hartman escaped from his field maintenance crew assignment on Arkansas Highway 79. ADC officials said that Hartman and a suspected accomplice fired at the correctional officers during a chase.
Deputies from the Tunica County Mississippi Sheriff’s Office said that they believe Hartman may be in the Tunica County area. Deputies said that there was a vehicle located on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River.
Arkansas State Police stated that a farmer reported to have seen two abandoned jet skis on a boat ramp, according to Tunica County deputies. Deputies also noted that they found the jet skis abandoned on a boat ramp near Mhoon Landing Park. Deputies said that they believe that Hartman used the jet skis.
As the search continues, deputies said that all schools in Tunica County are on lock down at this time and all local businesses are on high alert.
ADC officials described Hartman as a white man standing 5 feet 9 inches and weighing 230 pounds. Hartman has tattoos of a rose, heart, sword, “Forever & Always” and “Sam -N-Christine,” according to ADC officials.
ADC officials said that Hartman was serving a life sentence on rape charges out of Franklin County. Anyone with information about Hartman’s whereabouts is asked to contact local law enforcement.