Correction: The original post did not clarify the charges of the sheriff.
WALDRON, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Scott County Sheriff Randy Shores and former Waldron police officer Omar Gonzalez were arrested on September 30. Officer Gonzalez was arrested with third-degree battery resulting in Sheriff Shores’ charge of an accomplice to third-degree.
This comes out of an incident on February 16 when the sheriff’s department says Shores and Gonzalez responded to a pursuit that ended with an arrest.
According to an arrest affidavit, around 11:11 p.m., the Mansfield and Huntington Police Departments were in pursuit of a van driven by Robert L. Deer of Van Buren.
Deer was headed south on Highway 71. Waldron police officer Omar Gonzalez and another officer joined the pursuit along with Scott County Sheriff Randy Shores and two sheriff’s deputies in the Packsaddle Community.
The affidavit says officers pursued Deer through Waldron.
Deer lost control of his van at the intersection of U.S. Highway 71 and Echo Road. He drove off the road and came to a stop.
The following video contains graphic depictions of violence. Viewer discretion is advised
Huntington and Mansfield officers ordered Deer out of his vehicle and on the ground, according to the affidavit. Deer exited his vehicle and lay on the ground.
The affidavit says Gonzalez approached Deer from his blind side and kicked Deer in the back of his head, then placed his knee in Deer’s back and struck him several times in the head with his fist.
According to the affidavit, while Deer’s hands were cuffed behind his back, he was picked up off the ground and thrown into the front of his van headfirst by Gonzalez, which caused Deer’s right eye to swell shut.
A separate affidavit says body cam videos from Huntington and Mansfield police officers show Shores witness Gonzalez strike Deer in the head several times and throw him into the front of Deer’s van.
Gonzalez and Shores are both out on bond. The two are scheduled to appear in the Scott County District Court on December 6 at 9 a.m.
A Facebook post made by the Scott County Sheriff’s Department says a prosecutor has charged Gonzalez with third-degree battery in relation to that arrest, and Shores as an accomplice, saying he was a witness to it.
Shores and the sheriff’s department said he did not see the arrest happen.
The Scott County Sheriff’s Department says it conducted an internal review of the actions taken by its personnel who participated in the response to the pursuit. The department says it cooperated fully with an independent investigation by the Arkansas State Police.
In a statement, the Waldron Police Department said on Facebook it received body cameras for its officers after the arrest.
The Waldron Police Department says that Gonzalez resigned from his position with the department on May 2. On that same day, the department says paperwork was sent to the Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training to decertify Gonzalez.