INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A Batesville man is charged with first-degree battery after shooting another man during an altercation about stolen property.
According to the incident report from the Independence County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Bobby Tate was dispatched to the 100-block of Boyd Road around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday because a couple, Shawn and Rebecca Patterson, had reportedly found a vehicle matching the one that allegedly stole property from their car lot.
The business owners said a white Chevrolet Silverado had an LED light bar and bumper on it that was stolen from Patterson Auto Sales on Monday.
Rebecca told deputies that when they pulled into the driveway of the house the truck pulled in front of them, blocking their exit.
She stated that the driver of the truck, later identified as Dennis Berger, jumped out of his truck, ran over, and pulled her husband out of their vehicle.
According to Rebecca's statement, Shawn told Berger to get in his truck but he wouldn't.
Berger then reportedly ran at Shawn again and Shawn shot him one time, hitting him in the arm and chest.
A detective found one spent .22 casing below the opening at the driver's side of the vehicle.
Deputies let Rebecca get her young daughter out of the back of their vehicle before retrieving the .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun that was in a brief case behind the driver's seat.
Sheriff Shawn Stephens followed the EMS crew who transported Berger to the White River Medical Center Emergency Room.
While waiting to be treated, Berger told the sheriff that he heard "radio traffic" on the scanner that said he was supposed to have stolen property on his truck.
Berger said he didn't want to have the stolen property so he went to return the item to the owner.
When he arrived at the home, Berger was reportedly told "by a guy that he did not know" to get back in his truck.
He said he turned to go back to his truck when he was shot.
When asked by the sheriff why a man who didn't know him would shoot him, Berger said he did not know.
Before being taken back for surgery, Berger told the sheriff he bought the reportedly stolen items from a man in Sulphur Rock.
Sheriff Stephens asked Berger if he didn't know Shawn, why was he trying to return the property to him.
Berger said he was not sure but he didn't want to have the stolen property.
Shawn is facing a felony battery charge.