A Conway man was arrested Friday on suspicion of filing a false police report alleging Sen. Jason Rapert threatened him.
Stephan Ferry, 45, reported on Jan. 24 to Conway police that Sen. Rapert threatened him over the phone.
In an affidavit to city prosecutors, Rapert said he has been harassed by Ferry for two years. On the day in question, Ferry called Rapert's office seven times before Rapert returned his call.
Both parties recorded the phone conversation.
Rapert said he would answer any legitimate questions Ferry had but that he would file a police report if Ferry continued to harass him, noting he'd received several phone calls, voicemails and derogatory emails from Ferry over the years. Rapert also questioned if Ferry lived in his district, noting Ferry had previously sent him emails stating he was an out-of-state resident.
"I want to put you on notice that if you continue to harass and intimidate and send threatening messages to me via email, social media or contact my office then I will file a police report with law enforcement and they can investigate this matter further, sir," Rapert said in the phone conversation with Ferry.
During his conversation with Rapert, Ferry mentioned being upset about Rapert blocking him from social media.
Ferry, who has set up a GoFundMe page to raise costs to file a federal suit against Rapert, said this move was unconstitutional, citing "viewpoint discrimination."
Rapert said he disagreed and that his personal social media accounts do not fall under guidelines of free speech violations by blocking others from these accounts because they are not government-run accounts.
Ferry filed a report with the Conway Police Department following his phone conversation with Rapert on Jan. 24 and alleged Rapert threatened him.
"What did he say?" the officer asks Ferry after Ferry said he felt threatened by Rapert.
"That he's sending people after me," Ferry said.
Ferry gave officers a recording of the conversation with Rapert. However, the end of the phone call where the alleged threats occurred did not make it into the recording.
After learning Ferry filed a report against him, Rapert provided a full copy of the recording, which led to Ferry's charges.
"From listening to the entire phone call that was provided by Mr. Rapert, it is clear that he never made the vague threat of 'I'm going to send people after your,'" the incident report reads.
Ferry was arrested Friday on suspicion of filing a false police report. Online records show he posted a $1,195 bond that day and is currently free. A court date regarding the aforementioned charge had not yet been set as of press time Monday.
Following his arrest Friday, Ferry posted about the incident on the Facebook page Arkansans Against Jason Rapert that read:
"I was just arrested by [the] Conway Police Department, and I believe this is coordinated retaliation for speaking out against the bully of Bigelow. I have paid the bond, and want you all to know, no matter how much power mad Stanley thinks he has, I will not be silenced. I will not share any details of my arrest at the moment, other than I am 100% innocent of the charges against me. Justice shall prevail. I will not be silenced."
A portion of this statement refers to a Freedom of Information Act request he'd sent out to Arkansas State Police.
On Wednesday, Ferry posted he had received more than 100 pages pertaining to Mad Stanley from ASP through FOIA.
As of press time Monday, Ferry's GoFundMe page to raise funds to file a federal lawsuit against Rapert had raised $683 of its $5,000 goal.
Rapert maintains he has been harassed by Ferry, referencing in his affidavit a December message he received from Ferry via LinkedIn that read:
"Remember me? You blocked me everywhere EXCEPT here," Ferry's Dec. 13 LinkedIn message to Rapert reads. "I am going to expose you, Any (sic) thing you have done, I will have put under a microscope. I'm fairly certain an IRS audit is coming your way too, and I finally have someone in Little Rock with nuts like mine that is going to prove that you have no business in politics. So ... since I can't debate online with you, I wanted you to know that my wife and I are considering returning to Conway, at which point I am confident that you will see my face and hear my voice often."
Rapert has requested a no contact order be issued against Ferry and that the harassing messages cease.