Victim of theft says he was wrongfully arrested by Arkansas State Police

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Saturday was an unexpectedly eventful day for Gary Perry after he was wrongly arrested for a crime he did not commit.

"I got up that morning with my daughter and girlfriend, and we went to the Farmers Market," said Perry.

His vehicle and license plate number matched the description of a pickup truck that intentionally backed into an Arkansas State Police trooper's vehicle in a pursuit earlier on Saturday.

ASP spokesman Bill Sadler said the trooper was on patrol Saturday morning when he saw a Dodge pickup truck leaving a farm field and turning onto U.S. Highway 49.

The trooper tried to stop the vehicle near Arkansas 226, but the driver accelerated the truck, fled, suddenly stopped and began accelerating back into the patrol car, Sadler said.

"The truck impacted the front of the patrol car causing the rear wheels to roll onto the front of the car," Sadler said, noting the trooper was not injured.

Later that night, Arkansas State troopers showed up at Perry's home in the 3000-block of Derby Drive.

"We were watching 'Twilight' and heard a knock on the back door," said Perry. "It was an officer asking for me. I walked towards him trying to figure out what was wrong."

"He grabbed me and put me in handcuffs and said, 'Mother [expletive] we got you now!'" Perry recalled. "I asked him 'What did I do?' and he said, 'You know what the [expletive] you did!' Then he slammed me on the trunk of his car."

Perry said being disabled from having two back surgeries in the past, it hurt him as he was forcibly thrown in the back of the state trooper's vehicle.

"He went to my truck, and he grabbed my registration and asked, 'Where is the truck?' I said 'It is right there.' He said, 'Where did you get the tag from?' I said 'The revenue office.' He said 'You're still lying!' I said 'No I'm not.' That's when he got pissed and screamed 'Put this son of a [expletive] in the car! Let's go!"

They then took Perry to the station and there they showed surveillance video of a truck that looked similar to his, Perry said. Not knowing his tag had been stolen and switched with someone else's, Perry said he was still in shock.

"Right off the bat, I knew that was not my truck," said Perry. "That was a 2016 Dodge. I have a 2005 Dodge. I have black rims; he had chrome. I have an antenna and a window that splits into three windows. He had one solid window."

Even when Perry tried to explain, he said he continued to be called a liar.

"He said 'This is my house," said Perry, referring to the police station. "He said 'This is not your house. You keep on lying.'"

Perry said he understood that the department had experienced something bad with their vehicle, but he felt they could have handled everything better.

"He screamed at me 'I don't give a [expletive] about what you say! One of my guys could have died today," Perry said of the conversation with police.

Eventually, Perry said they saw that he was not the right guy but still did not apologize for his treatment.

"All I wanted was an apology from them," said Perry. "I went in the next day to get my registration plate, and they acted as if nothing happened. Not one of them could apologize to me."

Perry said he is even more bothered by the impact the arrest had on his daughter.

"It crushed my 10-year-old daughter in her eyes badly and for her to see me be like that. It hurt her a lot," said Perry. "She is currently speaking with a counselor over this situation because she's still so upset."

Now, Perry said he has little faith in state troopers.

"I won't trust any of them," said Perry. "I am worried that I may get a charge out of this for speaking out, but they brought me into this situation. They could at least acknowledge they made a mistake."

Perry also said if he were the right person, he would understand the actions taken against him, but because he wasn't, he will continue to speak out until an apology is made.

As for the accident that led to the incident Saturday, Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said in a statement troopers and other law enforcement are continuing to search for the individual who intentionally backed the pick-up truck into the state police vehicle.

"The suspect drove away from the scene north along U.S. Highway 49," Sadler said. "A check of the license plate number on the truck following the crash indicated the suspect vehicle was displaying a fictitious license plate."

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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