On April 5, 2020 Arkansas State Police Trooper Alan Aiken was stationed on the southbound 76 ramp to I-49 running radar, when a black passenger car went by at a radar locked sped of 125 mph. That section of highway had a speed limit of 70 mph. Aiken entered I-49 south and attempted to catch up to the vehicle, which eventually pulled over… but not for long.
Watch this intense pursuit involving multiple PITs and PIT attempts, 150 MPH speeds, and a foot chase with a shocking ending.
Upon taking him into custody, the suspect was identified as Michael Nightengale. When asked why he had been running, Nightengale initially refused to respond, later admitting to Aiken that he was wanted as an absconder. After a trip to Washington Regional Medical Center for to complaints of a concussion, Nightengale was delivered to the jail on requested charges of felony fleeing, fleeing on foot, reckless driving, speeding, DWI drugs, refusal to submit to a chemical test, and no liability insurance… and all of his other warrants.
A thorough search of Nightengale’s vehicle did not locate any contraband. Nightengale was ultimately charged with felony fleeing, DWI (1st), and refusal to submit to a chemical test. His trial is set for May 7, 2021. Nightengale has an extensive criminal history, mostly relating to drug offenses, and one of the most normal-looking mugshots in existence.
It should be noted that Trooper Aiken is best known as the guy who intentionally drove his police vehicle into a man by the name of John Overman, an undercover state police lieutenant who Aiken thought was the suspect in a pursuit. After striking Overman, Aiken jumped from his car, shouting at Overman to get on the ground while holding him at gunpoint— only then realizing they were on the same team.
In a subsequent complaint, Lt. Overman offered scathing commentary about Aiken and his suitability for work in law enforcement: “Trooper Aiken has had several pursuits since [the] incident and continues to demonstrate a very limited ability to control his emotions and actions in stressful situations. [. . .] Trooper Aiken has shown that he cannot be trusted to perform under stressful situations in a manner that does not jeopardize safety or that he does not bring embarrassment or liability to the department.”
Overman’s complaint further alleged that Aiken “sees the incident as something of a joke,” claiming that Trooper Aiken had attempted to get the state police repair shop to give him a piece of his damaged bumper. The damage, of course, was from hitting Lt. Overman — who alleged that Aiken intended to turn whatever he received into a commemorative plaque.
Arkansas watchdog journalist Russ Racop, author of the Bad Government in Arkansas blog, reported in late-September 2017 that “on Thursday, September 21, 2017 Arkansas State Police Troop L staff were instructed to pull Trooper Aiken from pursuits he tries to join and to terminate any pursuits he begins, except in extreme cases.” It is unclear when that instruction was rescinded.
Racop’s original report, and much more, can be found at http://rwp.yt/aiken.
1:13 The chase is on
9:53 Both cars catch air
11:24 In custody
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