FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A Fayetteville man was arrested and is facing multiple felony charges after drawing a gun and threatening to kill another man in a “road rage incident” outside a N. College Avenue restaurant.
According to a preliminary police report, multiple officers responded to a call outside the Black Bear Diner after witnesses called 911 saying that “a white male was holding a black male at gunpoint.” A responding Fayetteville police officer spoke to the victim.
That man said that he drove through the parking lot, attempted to back into a parking space, and turned “in a manner that caused his vehicle to block a small majority of the thoroughfare of the parking lot.” He said another car came from around the corner and “met his vehicle head-on.”
The victim exited his vehicle and asked the other driver “what the problem was.” Harris Freeman, 20, retrieved a gun from his car and pointed it at the victim. The victim said Freeman was 9-10 feet away.
The victim said he yelled at Freeman but never displayed a weapon of his own. Witnesses inside the diner watched the incident and said it looked like “a road rage situation.”
One described watching Freeman put a gun in the victim’s face, and another said the victim seemed “a little fazed” but continued to talk to Freeman. He added that the victim “never acted in a manner that would warrant Freeman threatening deadly force against the victim.” During an interview, a witness also told police that Freeman “never appeared to be boxed in and had room to exit the situation at any point.”
Witnesses provided investigators with a license plate number corresponding to a Honda Civic registered to Freeman. Police conducted a felony traffic stop on N. Shiloh Drive and took Freeman into custody without incident. They recovered a 9mm Glock from the passenger seat of the vehicle and an unopened can of beer under the driver’s seat. A check confirmed that Freeman was driving on a suspended license.
The suspect was taken to the Fayetteville Police Department for questioning, where he was read his Miranda Rights and was “adamant that he wanted to explain his side of the story.” Freeman said he was driving through the parking lot as a shortcut to N. College Avenue and he honked at the victim because of how he was driving.
Freeman said the other man then exited his vehicle and started threatening him by saying “wassup” and “let’s get it.” Freeman told officers he feared for his safety due to “past experiences of getting beat up,” so he got his “problem solver” from his car. He told officers that he asked the victim “Are you willing to die?” and told the other man “if you touch me, I will shoot you.”
The suspect added that he didn’t call the police himself because “he solved the problem.” He believed that he embarrassed the victim and was justified in pointing his firearm at him.
Freeman was booked into Washington County jail and is facing charges of aggravated assault, first degree terroristic threatening, minor in possession of alcohol, driving with a revoked or suspended license, disorderly conduct, and carrying a weapon.
His bond was set at $10,000, with an additional $855 due to a failure to appear charge. He has a court hearing scheduled for September 30.