Neighbors React to Living Near Escaped Inmate

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KNWA spoke with numerous people in the neighborhood of escaped inmate, Steven Dishman. Those who knew Dishman described him as a peaceful guy who liked to sit out on the porch and read books. Others didn’t even know an escaped inmate lived next to them. 

“To learn that he’s actually an escaped prisoner, not granted parole but he got out and he was aloof for thirty years is just crazy,” said Tawney Driggs, a Springdale resident and one of Dishman’s neighbors. 

According to neighbors, Dishman was living with his mom on McMillian Drive in Springdale for a couple of weeks. Dishman’s mom  — who didn’t want to go on camera —  said she wants to know who tipped police off. 

Driggs said it was a day like no other for the usually quiet neighborhood.

“It was a little bit crazy because I was peaking out the window and there were nine police cars just come zooming by. It was kind of interesting because I just got out of prison a month ago. And just seeing all these police cars I knew I didn’t do anything wrong but I was still in shock and kind of scared,” Driggs said.

According to the Saline County Prosecutor’s Office, Dishman cannot be charged for escaping the Benton Unit due to the statute of limitations. That means he will only have to serve the remainder of the seven years he was initially sentenced for.

Neighbors said it appeared to them that Dishman was trying to lie low. 

 “He’s just living a quiet life sitting on the front porch and to take him in, I understand the law you know he has to go back but he’s just an old man wanting to live his life and he obviously did,” Driggs said.

Some say if it weren’t for his arrest, they wouldn’t have known they lived next to an escaped inmate.

“How do you know ‘hey my next door neighbor escaped from prison for 30 years?’ Definitely shocking because it’s just a small quiet neighborhood and then it’s like, ‘hey an escaped prisoner out for 30 years just living with his mom and kicking it,'” Driggs said.

Another neighbor told KNWA she knew Dishman had escaped from prison — but also refused to go on camera.

According to neighbors, the Arkansas State Police were once again at Dishman’s home Monday morning, trying to gather more information. 

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