UPDATE: Bella Vista Police have arrested two men in connection with a homemade explosive device that was set off in the city on New Year’s Eve.

Ricky Lee Burnett, 42, and Joseph Witten, 38, both of Bella Vista, have been arrested in connection with criminal acts involving explosives, a Class B felony.

The two men will be held in the Benton County Jail while awaiting a bond hearing. Their court date has been set for 8 a.m. Monday, February 14.


Bella Vista City Communications Director Cassi Lapp says an “improvised explosive device” was used to damage a park bench in the area near Estes Drive.

According to Lapp, police did not find any damage to other structures and there were no injuries.

Authorities say there is no reason for the public to be concerned about their safety.


BELLA VISTA, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Bella Vista Police Department and Bentonville Bomb Squad are investigating the area of Chelsea Rd after receiving a report of possible remnants of an explosive device.

Officers said the information is consistent with reports of a series of small explosions across the city over the course of the last few weeks.

Police say there is no need for the public to be concerned, but they ask that everyone avoid the area while the investigation is ongoing.

Neighbors told KNWA/FOX 24 that they heard a loud explosion noise around 9 p.m. last night.

“The floor vibrated and for a firework that had to be expensive, but it just didn’t feel right, it felt more than just a firework,” neighbor Garry Timms said.

This is a developing story. Stay with KNWA/Fox 24 for updates.