Rolf Kaestel robbed a Fort Smith taco shop with a water pistol; he’s served 40 years in prison and, again, is asking for clemency


On June 2, he'll turn 70, He was sentenced 10 days shy of his 30th birthday to life for aggravated assault.

Arkansas Department of Corrections inmate Rolf D. Kaestel, 70.

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — In February 1981, Rolf Kaestel robbed Senor Bob’s Taco Hut of $264 — armed with a toy water pistol. He’s been incarcerated for 40 years for the crime.

Kaestel was 29 when he robbed the place and he’ll turn 70 on June 2.

He was sentenced on June 5, 1981 to life in prison and a $15,000 fine for Aggravated Robbery in Sebastian County.

The man who managed the taco shop, and handed Kaestel the money during the robbery, has recommended his release. Dennis Schluterman appealed to then-Governor Mike Beebe and made the below YouTube video on October 29, 2014.

Kaestel is awaiting a decision from Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson on another clemency application. The governor has a bit more than 90 days to make a decision. In 2015, Hutchinson denied Kaestel clemency.

Kaestel is part of the Arkansas Department of Corrections’ Interstate Compact and is now housed in Utah, for about the past two decades. According to ADC’s website: The Interstate Compact staff serves as the communication liaisons between Arkansas offices and out-of-state offices and are responsible for processing the initial investigation requests for transfer of supervision from and to other states, progress reports, and extraditions. The Compact Office also provides official notice of the Probation/Parole officer’s acceptance or rejection of the offenders for interstate transfer of supervision.

According to the ADC website, Kaestel appears to never have violated prison rules during his four decades as an inmate.

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