By Alex Kienlen
Log Cabin Correspondent
From Conway Police
Into thin air
Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 27, at nearly 3 p.m. and police were called to a shop in West Conway that specializes in vaporizers — devices used to convert a substance to an inhalable mist. Someone there was accused of shoplifting, officers were told, and was in the parking lot of the business "struggling" with others.
The reporting officer, nearby, arrived on site shortly thereafter. One man was lying on top of another man in the business’s parking lot, and two men were standing by. The two not engaged in lying waved the officer over. As the officer arrived one of the men told him the man on the bottom had been shoplifting from the store. The officer recognized the one holding the man down as someone who worked security in the Conway area.
Handcuffs, then, and the man on the ground complied with the officer’s commands. He was then put in the back of a patrol car.
Other officers arrived, who took charge of the now-handcuffed accused shoplifter, while the reporting officer and others went into the store to speak with staff there. They were told the man currently in handcuffs had been in the store browsing, but was, however, "acting strange," per one employee. They were told the man would continue holding items while asking for additional items to consider. This reached a point where an employee asked for some of the items back and the man said this was not necessary, as he was going to buy them.
Shortly after that the odd man mumbled something and then, as stated by the employee and quoted in the report, "booked it" out the store. The employee gave chase and shortly thereafter the security guy, who also worked at the store, arrived and tackled the, as it were, booker. The rest was what the officer saw as he arrived.
Statement forms were completed and the goods were returned to the shop.
It was actually early Tuesday morning, 32 minutes into the day, when police were called to a downtown restaurant. Officers arrived and spoke with the man who called for them. "Two guys," he told the officers, per the report, "threatened him with a gun."
He said he had been inside the establishment "drinking" and when he went outside he was threatened when one of the pair pointed a semi-automatic pistol he identified by brand at his head. As this was done the gun-wielder told him he was going to "blow his head off," he told officers, the report stated.
The man, the officer reported, was hard to follow, notably on the timeline of events leading to his having a gun pulled on him. The officer also had questions as to why this man was targeted, especially, as he stated, "He didn’t do anything," per the report.
As the conversation continued to unfold, the man remembered he had been inside the restaurant, at the bar, having drinks the same time as the two men. The officer asked if the man had any conversation with the pair, and he said he remembered asking them if they "had a problem with him." This was due to his suspicion about them talking and commenting about him as he sat there, he told the officer, the report stated.
When he left, he told the officer, the two men followed him outside. While he was next to his car the two came up and one pulled out the gun and hit him on the side of the face with it, and said they would "blow his head off," he told the officer. They then each got in a white pickup and drove away.
Despite a minor injury to the man’s cheek he refused medical treatment, the officer reported.
Other officers on the scene spoke to witnesses, at least two of whom said the man reporting had pulled a knife on the men while they were still inside the restaurant.