PARKIN, AR (KAIT) – Parkin Police Chief Dean Davidson has been suspended with pay by Mayor Charles Patterson over an incident that happened at the Crossridge Community Hospital in Wynne. According to Davidson, he was suspended for responding to another officer's statement comparing his wife to an adulterer. Davidson was conducting an internal investigation in which a Parkin police officer tried to commit suicide.
"I received a very disturbing phone call about one of my officers attempting suicide," said Davidson. "I called for a four county search and a BOLO (Be On the Look Out) and also we tried to track his cell phone through GPS trying to find his location, because we had reason to believe that he was serious about what he was saying."
Davidson said Timothy Fugate, who he terminated from the Parkin Police Department in 2009 for excessive force on an inmate, gave the victim's family advice on mental evaluations. Davidson said Fugate told them not to allow doctors to perform a mental evaluation.
"Naturally I want to make sure that he's mentally and physically capable of maintaining the job," said Davidson. "Especially law enforcement officers, somebody who has to carry a gun and might have to use the threat of deadly force needs to be mentally evaluated prior to release to determine whether they have suicidal or homicidal tendencies."
Davidson said the physician attending the officer would take care of mental evaluations. Davidson said Fugate approached him when he was trying to leave.
"I was approached by an officer who I had terminated in the past. He had only worked for me a week and I had terminated him," said Davidson.
Davidson said Fugate asked him a question.
"If you got home to your house and you walked in and some man had your wife's legs spread wide open, some strange man that he was, I'm not going to repeat what he said. To me that provoked a violent response and even though I have three broken bones in my right knee from a prior incident, it provoked me to get out of my car and tell him exactly what I thought about him."
Davidson was charged with assault, terroristic threatening and harassment. A criminal summons filed in Cross County District Court was given to Davidson March 11.
"The worst extent that it ever came to was I stuck my finger in my chest and told him exactly what I thought about him," said Davidson. "This gentleman had no right referring to my wife as a common whore. My wife is a lady. She's the mother of my children. She's devoted to me and I'm devoted to her."
Fugate told Region 8 News Monday that Davidson used his finger to poke him in the chest and throat. Fugate said in his affidavit for criminal summons that Davidson "used his finger to assault me by poking me in my throat and chest and then after being forced to leave the hospital located at 310 Falls Blvd, he called one of his officers via phone to tell him to put me in his patrol car and bring me to his house so he could whip me a**. He has since then told people he is filing charges against me so he can come arrest me personally and deal with me." The affidavit was signed March 9.
Davidson denied assault and said he issued a warrant on Fugate, which Davidson said wasn't signed.
"I believe that Mr. Fugate purposely, and with intent, provoked me," said Davidson.
Davidson said the original judge stepped down from the case Monday.
"I issued a warrant because he interfered with my investigation by telling family members that he (the victim) should not comply with mental health," said Davidson. "Also at the point that he made the remarks to my wife, I filed a disorderly conduct as well, warrant."
Davidson provided Region 8 News with three voluntary statements that were given to the Parkin Police Department, one from Davidson's wife, one from a Parkin police officer and the other from the victim's friend.
"I felt like that I was darn if I did and darn if I don't because I felt like a man should have the right to defend his wife's honor," said Davidson. "I was so mad I said nobody, and I mean nobody will say that to my wife. I said I will beat you within an inch of your life for saying that to my wife in front of me."
Davidson will appear in court May 10.
"I feel that any man who defends the honor of his wife should not be deemed guilty of a crime in this state," said Davidson.