From Conway Police Department reports
Couple harasses officer working Sunday crash
Two women were arrested at a crash scene Sunday afternoon after reportedly yelling at an officer who was attempting to work the accident.
Stepheny and Madison Lee Hernandez, both 23, were each charged with obstructing governmental operations and taken to the county jail shortly after 1:30 p.m. Sunday, according to an incident report.
Officer Hayden Schmitt was called to a two-vehicle accident at the intersection of Old Military and Donnell Ridge roads Sunday afternoon and was met by several other individuals were also at the crash scene.
"As I arrived on scene, I observed two vehicles parked in the middle of Old Military with their flashers on," Schmitt wrote in his report. "It was later determined that these vehicles were not involved in the accident."
Authorities identified a red truck on the east side of Old Military Road and a white Jeep on Donnell Ridge Road as the vehicles involved in the crash. When asking the individuals who had parked in roadway to move their vehicles out of the way, several people began yelling at officer Schmitt, according to the report.
"I identified the people who were involved in the accident. I then asked the rest of the group to step back and to please move the vehicles that were in [the] roadway immediately," the incident report reads in part. "I was instantly met with yelling and hostility from the group."
Stepheny "became the lead in the group" and began asking Schmitt if it was illegal for others to park in the road. When the officer told her it was, "most of the group disbursed to move their vehicles." However, according to the report, Stepheny and her wife, Madison, stayed put because their vehicle was not in the street.
As officer Schmitt continued working the accident, the couple soon approached him again.
Schmitt said before he could inform the driver of the red truck that the other vehicle was at fault, he "was confronted at the curb by Stepheny" while Madison stood "a few feet away" filming the encounter on her cell phone.
""Stepheny demanded to know why the other party did not have to move their vehicles off the road. I explained to her my reason and then informed her that she and Madison were no longer welcome on the scene. They were impairing my ability to work the accident without distraction, which caused unnecessary danger to those involved in the collision and other vehicles on the roadway," the report states.
When told to leave, Madison reportedly began yelling, "This is public property!"
The 23-year-old women were ultimately arrested on obstruction of governmental operations charges.
Officers also requested Madison hand over her phone, because it contained evidence after she recorded the conversation between Schmitt and her wife. Once the officer took the phone from her, other family members snatched it away.
"Once my backup officer arrived, I took Stepheny into custody ... [and] then told Madison to turn around and to hand over her phone since it now contained evidence," the report reads in part. "I secured her right wrist and then grabbed her phone with my left hand. By this time, the rest of the family had returned and they swarmed me and pried the phone from my hand."
Schmitt reportedly pleaded with the group to hand over the phone as the group "formed a wall" in front of the woman who took the phone away from him.
Eventually, the group handed over the phone and Stephany soon asked for medical attention prior to being taken to jail. However, once paramedics arrived on scene, she refused medical treatment, according to the report.
"Prior to my leaving to transport Stepheny to [the county jail], we loosened her cuffs and added another set to release pressure on her wrists and shoulders," Schmitt wrote in his report. "She also requested medical attention for an anxiety attack. I requested MEMS to my location and opened up her door at her request so she could get some fresh air. Once MEMS arrived, she refused their assistance."