Sheriff: Deputy hit suspect with vehicle, ASP investigating

Sheriff: Deputy hit suspect with vehicle, ASP investigating
Danny Keith Jeffrey (Source: Cross County Sheriff's Office)
Danny Keith Jeffrey (Source: Cross County Sheriff's Office)
Source: Joyce Jeffrey
Source: Joyce Jeffrey

WYNNE, AR (KAIT) - A Cross County sheriff's deputy is under investigation after hitting a drug suspect with a patrol vehicle, according to Sheriff J.R. Smith.

Smith confirmed that Danny Keith Jeffrey was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia and meth or cocaine along with fleeing. Jeffrey was struck by a sheriff's vehicle as he ran from a deputy early Thursday afternoon.

The incident took place on 5th Street in Wynne, that's located right off West Union Avenue.

Residents who say they witnessed the incident claimed the officer accelerated to hit the suspect.

"The police truck came this way and did not try to stop," Jolanda Wright told Region 8 News.

Jolanda and her husband Eddie Wright live in the home next door to the lot where the incident happened. They said they witnessed the incident after returning home from a grocery store Thursday before noon.

They told Region 8 News that they saw Jeffrey run from between two homes onto 5th Street. That's when they said the sheriff's deputy pulled onto 5th Street from Union Avenue.

"When he realized the police was coming at him, he stopped," Eddie Wright said. "It looked like the police, instead of him stopping, he just pushed on the gas and hit him. The guy went like ten feet in the air and then he came down. When he came down, he was up under the police truck and it pushed him all the way over to my fence over there"

The circumstances that initiated the chase are not known at this time.

The couple took grainy video shortly after the incident that shows an image of a person on the ground near the patrol vehicle. An officer can be seen in the video asking the couple what they witnessed.

Jeffrey's mother arrived on scene shortly after her son was hit, before an ambulance transported him from the scene. She said due to the active investigation, authorities wouldn't let her near her son.

"The neighbors, the people that live next to the grassy area said that I could come over into their yard and look," Joyce Jeffrey said. "I was able to walk up to the fence and ask him if he was okay. He was crying and was hurting."

Joyce Jeffrey said her son ran from police because he had a warrant out for his arrest for child support. However, Jeffrey claimed the officers weren't aware of that warrant. She believed officers chased her son because of his history with drug use.

"To me that's just downright...downright disgusting because you don't do a dog like that," she said. "They had him face down on the ground with handcuffs after an officer hit him...and it's child support, and then they didn't even know he had a warrant out."

Joyce Jeffrey said once the sheriff arrived on scene, the handcuffs were removed from Danny's wrists. However, she told Region 8 News she was still upset with how the situation was handled.

Danny Jeffery was taken to the hospital and later transported to the Cross County Jail. He's been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of meth or cocaine and fleeing. Danny's mother also disputes his charges.

"I know they didn't find anything on him or anything in that area because I was still standing there when all of that was going on," Joyce Jeffrey said.

Arkansas State Police continue to investigate the incident.

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