Conway Police Department was called to Hobby Lobby on Monday after a 23-year-old Faulkner County resident reported being stalked throughout the store and into the parking lot.
According to the incident report, officer Collin Bierle was dispatched to the business for a harassment report.
Bierle wrote that he made contact with the victim, who said that around 10 a.m. while at Hobby lobby, she observed a white man with dark and balding hair wearing a black button-up shirt following her through the store.
“She stated whenever she would go down an aisle, the male would do so as well,” the report reads. “Another customer who also observed the male following [the victim] offered to walk her to her vehicle.”
Bierle said the victim then saw the male get into a pickup.
The victim wrote down the man’s license plate and then called police.
The Log Cabin Democrat reached out to the victim who asked to remain anonymous but said the moment was “probably the scariest,” moment in her life.
“Conway PD has acted accordingly and in less than 24 hours of it happening, they have a lineup for me to identify the man,” she told the LCD in a Facebook message Tuesday.
She also took to Facebook to share the encounter and encourage others to be safe.
“Moral of the story [...] if you have that gut feeling that someone is watching you, following you, stalking you. Ask for help and report it ASAP,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “I also want the public to know that CPD is doing everything in their power to get these creeps off the streets and take it so seriously. Everyone, please be safe out there.”
CPD Spokesman LaTresha Woodruff told the LCD in an email Friday that the investigation was complete.
“It’s a misdemeanor harassment case so it’s up to the victim to seek a warrant,” she said. “She has to go to the City Attorney and fill out an affidavit for a warrant. It’ll be up to the city attorney to decide whether or not there’s enough evidence there to go ahead with charges.”
The victim confirmed with the LCD on Friday that she planned to do just that.
“I am because at the end of the day, with everything going on in Conway lately [...] I’d feel horrible if I didn’t and this happened to someone else and have a different ending to their story than mine,” she said. “This should be a statement made to these people that the public and Conway PD has zero tolerance for these issues.”
The Log Cabin Democrat reached out to Deputy City Attorney Charles Finkenbinder on Friday to see if the victim had filed charges.
He said he hadn’t seen a request but would be reaching out to the victim to ensure she knew the options available to her; he said sometimes the warrant process can be confusing.
Finkenbinder then called the LCD back to say he had reached out the victim and will be moving forward with the case.
“I do anticipate that I will be filing charges,” he said.
The LCD asked Woodruff what advice CPD could offer the community to help keep them safe. She said what they tell people all the time is to be aware of their surroundings, if nervous about a situation to call CPD no matter the instance, try to take a buddy when shopping and to always park in an area that’s well lit.