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Faulkner County Circuit Judge David Clark was involved in a minor altercation with a Conway Parks Department employee Monday following an incident near the intersection of Hogan Lane and Prince Street.
According to Conway Police Department reports, Mason Hess, 19, made a derogatory hand gesture toward Clark after the judge, according to Hess’ statement, cut off the Chevy Tahoe Hess was riding in. The police report stated that Clark proceeded to follow Hess to the Victoria Park subdivision where the Tahoe pulled over.
According to Clark’s statement, Hess approached his vehicle, leaned in the window and punched him in the face. Hess stated that Clark pulled to the side of the Tahoe and began yelling profanities at Hess and the driver. Hess said he approached Clark’s vehicle and Clark grabbed at him and pulled him into his vehicle, scratching his right arm. Hess stated that he punched in the direction of Clark in self-defense. Hess reported the driver of the Tahoe got out of the vehicle and pulled him away from Clark. All parties then left the scene.
Clark contacted Conway police with the license plate number of the Tahoe, which was traced to a residence on Bay Hill Drive. Officers made contact with the owner of the vehicle, who stated that her son was driving the Tahoe and would return to the residence with Hess. A short time later, Hess arrived, driving another vehicle and agreed to discuss the incident with officers. The CPD officer questioning Hess wrote in the report that Hess’ speech was slurred slightly. When asked how much he had to drink, Hess stated "four shots," according to the report. Hess produced a .09 blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) during a breathalyzer test and was arrested for DWI.
While questioning the driver of the Tahoe, who also had arrived at the residence, officers reported smelling a "moderate odor of alcohol." He admitted to drinking whiskey, and after producing a .11 BAC during a breathalyzer test, was arrested for DWI.
Both men were transported to CPD for processing. After a second set of breath tests, Hess recorded a BAC of .05 and was charged with DUI. The driver of the Tahoe produced a BAC of .09 and was charged with DWI. Both were cited and released to their parents.
According to CPD Public Information Officer Chris Harris, Hess was charged with DUI instead of DWI because he is under 21 years old and his BAC was between .02 and .08 in tests administered at the police department.
No battery charges have been filed.
Clark and Hess could not be reached for comment. An employee at the Conway Parks Department said she was unsure if Hess was still employed there.
(Staff writer Stephanie Fischer can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1238. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit.)