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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Scott County sheriff to go to trial January 17 on misdemeanor battery charges from traffic stop

Scott County Sheriff Randy Shores and a former Waldron police officer, who both face criminal charges stemming from a February traffic stop that resulted in their Fall arrest, will both contest the misdemeanor charges according g to information from Arkansas Court Connect.

Shores. along with former Waldron officer Omar Gonzalez, was arrested September 30 and charged with two counts of misdemeanor Third Degree Batteryafter falling to intervene during what was termed a "rough arrest" in the Packsaddle community in rural Scott County.

Records show a pursuit started in Sebastian County on February 16 after officers attempted to stop Robert L. Deer of Van Buren. Deer was southbound on US Highway 71 when he crashed the white van he was driving and attempted to flee on foot.

Gonzalez's body cam revealed Deer was kicked in the back and struck with fist in the back of his head after a knee was placed across his neck. Shores was arrested on September 30 after an Arkansas State Police investigation He was released on hs own recognizance later ht afternoon.

Per the original affidavit in the case:

"On Wednesday, February 16th, 2022, at approximately 11: 11 pm the Mansfield and Huntington Police Departments were in pursuit of a white van. The van was operated by Robert L. Deer of Van Buren, Arkansas. The van was traveling South on Highway 71. Waldron City Officers Omar Gonzalez and Mike Collett along with Scott County Sheriff Deputies Jason Stearman, Jonathan Woodard and Sheriff Randy Shores joined the pursuit at the Packsaddle Community. Officers pursued the van through the City of Waldron. 3.

Mr. Deer lost control of his van at the Intersection of U.S Highway 71 and Echo Road at which time his vehicle left the roadway and came to a stop. Huntington Officer Mark Harris and Mansfield Officer Chelsie Fletcher ordered Deer out of his vehicle and on the ground. Mr. Deer complied, exited his vehicle, and lay on the ground. 4.

When Officer Gonzalez approached Mr. Deer from his blind side, Gonzalez kicked Deer in the back of his head. Gonzalez then placed his knee in the back of Deer and struck Mr. Deer several times in the head with his fist. After Mr. Deer's hands were cuffed behind his back, Officer Gonzalez picked Mr. Deer off the ground and slung him into the front of Mr. Deer's van, headfirst.

This treatment resulted in Mr. Deer's right eye swelling shut. 5. According to body cam videos from Huntington Police Officer Mark Harris and Mansfield Officer Chelsie Fletcher, Sheriff Randy Shores witnessed Officer Omar Gonzalez strike Robert Deer in the head several times and sling him while handcuffed into the front of Mr. Deer's van causing Mr. Deer's eye to swell shut."

Both Shores and Gonzalez are scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on January 3 and are scheduled for trial on January 17 in Scott County Circuit Court.

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