Sgt. Scott West (Photo: Garland County Sheriff's Office)
CPL. Greg Kellar (Photo: Garland County Sheriff's Office)
GARLAND COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) - THV 11 has the dash cam video that led to the suspensions this week of a Garland County sergeant and corporal.
It all stems from a June 6 call involving what the sheriff's office calls combative suspects. Two Garland County first responders are off the job now because of their actions.
The sheriff's office released the dash came video Friday, showing some heated moments during that June 6 call. In the Internal Investigation Summary of Complaint, it said that deputies were after a father and son, Jerry and Jordan Hoover. They were allegedly tied to an aggressive trespassing call at a building along Mountain Pine Road. The deputies would later catch up with the two suspects in front of a nearby church where things turned physical from both sides.
Two of the back-up responders were Sgt. Scott West and Corporal Gregg Keller. Both were suspended this week because of their actions. The Summary of Complaint said that Sgt. West slapped Jordan Hoover on the face at one point in time. Sgt. West said he slapped the man because "the subject was fixing to spit on him." He also said he never meant to harm the suspect and that "he did not think about his actions and was just trying to get him to stop what he was doing."
The Summary of Complaint said that Corporal Keller appeared to throw a punch after nearly being pulled to the ground by Jordan Hoover. He was holding Hoover's foot shackles at the time. The Summary of Complaint said that Jerry Hoover remained in a squad car most of the time and was often yelling and kicking at the door and window.
"It was not surprising to hear this, we've been hearing these types of stories for a long time," Bob Driggers said.
Bob Driggers is with the Garland County Good Government Group, a citizens watch-dog group. He said they get a lot of complaints about alleged misbehavior by sheriff deputies. In this case, he feels the discipline issued wasn't enough. West got two weeks suspension and Keller got four weeks. Both are without pay.
"I think the public is seeing this as another slap on the hand, and that's typically what happens," Driggers said.
Driggers is happy the sheriff's office is at least making this public so everyone can see what went down.
THV 11 tried to reach out to the two suspects on Friday. But when we went to their home, a neighbor said they'd moved recently. We also tried some phone numbers listed in reports, but they didn't work. We should note that the suspects actually never asked for an investigation into what happened on this call; it all began internally.
The Summary of Complaint also mentions a taser incident involving Corporal Keller in the booking room of the Garland County Detention Center. According to the complaint, Keller used a taser on Jordan Hoover after he become disorderly and head-butted the booking deputy.
MORE FROM THE GARLAND COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
According to a press release from the Garland County Sheriff's Office, Sgt. Scott West received two weeks off without pay and Cpl. Gregg Kellar received four weeks off without pay. Lt. James Martin said both are to attend a Use of Force refresher class.
Lt. Roberson with the sheriff's office said that complaint happened after a traffic stop earlier in June when Sgt. West was accused of slapping the face of Jordan Hoover, a man deputies were trying to detain. Sgt. West said he was doing this to stop Hoover from spitting in his face.
According to Lt. Roberson, Cpl. Kellar's questioned conduct happened when Hoover was lying on the ground in handcuffs with his feet shackled. That's when he reportedly attempted to pull Cpl. Kellar to the ground. Lt. Roberson said that in the dash-cam video, Cpl. Kellar appeared to punch Hoover in the hip or side.
• Read more on the traffic stop: http://on.kthv.com/12SUWBg
Lt. Roberson said that after all interviews and reviewing of the evidence on hand, there is nothing to support the accusations.