Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By Mark Dykes

Heavily armed man arrested without incident


February 28, 2019

Sunday afternoon Police Chief Julie Mathews arrested 43-year-old Jason Little from Meeteetse following a brief chase in town.

Mathews received information that Little was driving a 2003 Ford extended cab pickup, and he was suicidal, heavily armed, wearing body armor and possibly going after an ex-girlfriend. She noted dispatch heard Wyoming Highway Patrol was looking for him, and he was involved in a felony property damage incident in Park County the previous night, in which he allegedly shot up a vehicle and finished it off with a backhoe.

Officer Bobbi Zupan was among the officers also notified Little could be in the area, and later found out he had stopped at a residence and said some bad things were about to happen.

Zupan was westbound in the 900 block of Broadway when she saw the truck with its flashers on, eastbound and speeding. She advised dispatch and the other responding officers, then turned around on the truck. In her pursuit, Zupan observed the vehicle turn north onto Seventh, though when she turned onto the street there was no sign of it.

Mathews advised she had the truck southbound on North Sixth and had pulled it over when Zupan arrived on scene at Sixth and Arapahoe. The speed of the truck was not known when it came into town and it did slow down while turning in the residential area.

Mathews and Zupan exited their patrol vehicles with weapons drawn. Mathews noted this was an extreme situation and they knew Little had a ballistic vest and was heavily armed. Little jumped out of the vehicle wearing the bulletproof vest and Mathews commanded him to put his hands up, turn around facing away, back up to her and get on his knees, to all of which Little complied.

Zupan arrested Little along with Officer Ken Smith, who had also responded to the scene. Smith checked Little for weapons, though located in the truck were a significant amount of firearms — as well as ammunition and loaded clips — including an M1, a .233, a .45 Kimber and a Mossberg shotgun.

Little was placed in Zupan’s vehicle and was transported to the emergency room at Hot Springs County Memorial Hospital. According to a report, Little advised repeatedly that he had nothing to live for and his life was over. He further advised he wanted officers to shoot him, he had been heading to a residence to get his girlfriend and would do whatever it took to take her out of the house.

At the hospital, Zupan and Deputy Jake Miller took Little into an office, as there were no open rooms in the ER. Questioned about how much he had to drink, according to the report Little said he’d had two beers and the last time he did meth was a month ago. A doctor informed Little a blood draw indicated he had meth and alcohol in his system and Little reiterated he’d had a couple beers, but said the last time he did meth was a week ago.

Little was advised of his rights and that he was being charged with driving under the influence and being under the influence of a controlled substance. He was taken by Officer Mark Allen and booked into Hot Springs County Jail.

Mathews expressed her appreciation to the other officers from the police department and sheriff’s office, as well as Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper Tony Badura, for responding to this volatile incident.

Little is being held on a $50,000 cash bond and scheduled to appear on March 29 in Hot Springs Circuit Court.


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