A Damascus man was arrested on charges of battery, fleeing and aggravated assault following a late-night stabbing incident that occurred on Sept. 2 at a Conway hookah bar.
Officers were dispatched just before 3 a.m. to Myst on Van Ronkle Street, where they were told that a "large fight" had erupted inside of the business shortly before their arrival.
Police also learned that a private security employee reportedly sprayed "a large amount" of pepper spray inside of the building in an effort to contain the fight, resulting in the crowd fleeing the building.
At the same time, dispatch reported a disturbance involving a large group of people in the triage area of the emergency room at Conway Regional Medical Center.
Officers arrived at the hospital and found what they described as an "extremely chaotic scene," involving 20 or more people who had been at the hookah bar and were seeking treatment after suffering "ill effects" from the pepper spray.
One man at the hospital told police he had transported two friends for treatment of stab wounds sustained during the brawl. The man said he was present when the incident occurred but did not see it happen and could not identify a suspect.
A 24-year-old Conway man suffered stab wounds to his upper left shoulder, the lower left side of his torso and the middle, right side of his back. He told investigators he had been involved in a fight but did not see who stabbed him and only realized he was wounded after exiting the building, where someone pointed out "all of the blood on his clothing."
A 26-year-old Conway man told police a fight had broken out when an unknown black male wearing a Texas Longhorn cap and Dickies pants approached him and his friend and stabbed them. He reportedly suffered wounds to his left pectoral muscle, upper clavicle area and upper left outside shoulder. The report says he also had a "long laceration," approximately 6-7 inches in length, running across the base of his skull, and a small puncture wound above the laceration.
A 23-year-old witness at the scene identified herself as a bartender at the business. She told police she had seen the incident and could identify the suspect. The woman also said she recovered a Nokia cell phone belonging to the suspect after he dropped it at the scene.
According to the report, officers took possession of the cell phone, which was "continually ringing and receiving text messages." An officer answered the phone and identified himself as a police officer. The woman on the other end of the line identified herself as the phone owner’s sister and said she "wanted to get the phone back," but refused to give the officer her brother’s name. The officer told the woman that the owner of the phone could "come to the ER to get the phone if he wanted it back."
Around 3:30 a.m., witnesses pointed out a white truck driving slowly in front of the hospital. The vehicle’s windows were rolled down and a black male driver was reportedly "staring" at the gathered crowd.
Officers made contact with the man, who said he was "not involved" in the incident, but had been at the Hookah bar earlier and was looking for his uncle. The man explained that his mother had called his uncle’s phone and that someone at the hospital had answered it. The man then identified his uncle as Felton Dillard.
According to the report, a black male and female then approached the scene "demanding to know what was going on." The woman said she had come to check on her brother after speaking to someone in possession of his phone who told her they were at the hospital. The woman reportedly refused "numerous times" to identify her brother, but eventually conceded and identified her brother as Felton Dillard.
Investigators were working to begin compiling a photo lineup around 5 a.m., when an officer reportedly heard "a bunch of yelling" coming from the triage area.
The officer found witnesses in the waiting area pointing outside and yelling that the person responsible for the stabbing had just driven by in a red truck, and that another officer had "just took off after him."
Officers attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the driver of the vehicle did not stop, and instead accelerated west on to College Avenue. Police followed the vehicle "at a high rate of speed" west on College Avenue from Farris Road to Hogan Lane. The truck then continued north on Hogan Lane, running a red light and at the intersection of Prince Street while traveling "at least" 60 mph.
Officers pursued the vehicle to Stratus Drive, where the truck finally came to a stop. The driver immediately exited the vehicle and fled east on foot.
An officer followed Dillard to the back yard at 1220 Stratus Drive, where he reportedly found Dillard attempting to kick through a wooden privacy fence.
The officer ordered Dillard to the ground, but Dillard allegedly turned around and raised his hands over his head before lowering them again and "bouncing" them back up.
The officer reportedly ordered Dillard to the ground again. When Dillard refused to comply and with no back up at the scene, the officer deployed his taser from a stand-off distance of "7-10 feet."
Both probes reportedly made contact with Dillard’s torso, and he stiffened and fell to the ground.
Dillard was apprehended and placed into the back of a patrol unit, where he reportedly made "several comments that he was drunk." According to the report, Dillard "did not appear to be impaired," and "his speech and balance appeared to be normal." No intoxicating odors were detected.
Before being towed from the scene, the vehicle was searched in an attempt to locate evidence related to the stabbing incident. Police recovered three separate knives from the truck, all of which were marked as evidence.
Dispatch advised that Dillard had a misdemeanor warrant out of Mayflower Police Department.
Dillard was placed under arrest and transported to Faulkner County jail.
(Megan Reynolds is a staff writer and can be reached by phone at 505-1277 or by e-mail at email@example.com. To comment on this story and others, visit www.thecabin.net.)