FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Fayetteville Police confirmed a suspect was arrested and charged with Aggravated Robbery after he reportedly drove off without paying for his gas at Casey’s General Store on W. Wedington Drive, according to the preliminary report form.
By the time the Fayetteville police arrived on scene, Officer Quizenberry #416 had already made contact with the victim.
According to the victim, a white male suspect in a spray-painted black Nissan passenger vehicle with no tag, left without paying $56 in fuel.
The victim stated that he attempted to stop the suspect from leaving and that the suspect pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the victim before driving away.
Officers were reviewing footage of the incident when dispatch informed them that the suspect vehicle had been stopped near Exit 85 in Rogers, by the Arkansas State Police.
Fayetteville police then drove to the scene where they towed the Nissan and took possession of suspect Harold Hartford.
Hartford was dressed in camouflage pants and a long sleeve shirt, as the victim had reported earlier.
Hartford was read his Miranda Rights by the Troopers, however, he initially denied ever being in Fayetteville, then recanted his story and admitted that he was in Fayetteville earlier this morning.
The suspect admitted, over the course of the interview both in the back seat of the patrol unit and back at the Police department, inside an interview room, that he purposefully and knowingly removed his license plate with the intention of driving to Casey’s to fill up the tank in his car and to leave without paying for it.
After the suspect left the store, he drove north to a fueling station off of Interstate 49 at the Wagon Wheel exit, where he reattached the license plate before being stopped by ASP, Hartford told police.
Hartford strongly denied using any kind of firearm, however, during the search of his vehicle, Troopers located a large, folding knife that was in the shape of a small handgun.
This was submitted as evidence, police said.
Hartford denied the knife ever leaving his center console but stated that this is where he kept it.
Hartford allegedly, while attempting to leave Casey’s in Fayetteville, pulled the knife out and brandished at the victim in such a way that frightened the victim to tears, according to the report.
The victim said the suspect pointed the knife like a handgun at the him over the passenger seat, using his right hand and arm.
The victim also said he fully believed that he saw a handgun pointed at him before the suspect left the parking lot.
Hartford was brought back to the police department to be interviewed and eventually stated that what the victim may have seen was a black screwdriver that was in his hand, while he was driving away. He did, however, argue against the victim ever being able to see inside the car due to having his front bumper partially in the front passenger seat.
Hartford was booked into Washington County Detention Center for processing.
The knife that looked like a small handgun and the screwdriver were collected and submitted to evidence.