Region 8 Exclusive: Pocahontas Police Chief fires gun at man fleeing from officers
POCAHONTAS, Ark. (KAIT) - Region 8 News has been working for weeks to obtain body camera footage from the Pocahontas Police Department after a chase including shots fired by Pocahontas Police Chief David Edington led to the arrest of 19-year-old Cameron Like in early May.
When officers pulled into Jordan’s Quik Stop in Pocahontas, they saw Cameron Like in what they believed to be a stolen Honda Civic. Officers say Like was asleep with his hands in his pockets as vehicles surrounded the car.
Officials said two officers tried knocking on the driver’s and passenger’s windows to try to get his attention. The footage shows the driver put his hands on the wheel. Then, he backed into a police car, drove on the sidewalk, and drive off to Highway 67, nearly hitting three officers in the process.
“Stop the car now,” An officer said as he was backing up. “Stop! I will shoot you!”
As Like tries to leave, Chief Edington fired shots at the vehicle, with other cars in the area. When asked if firing the gun was too excessive, Edington said he was just trying to stop the car.
“You can’t ram police vehicles and attempt to run over somebody and there not be consequences to your actions,” Edington said. “I [attempted] to stop the vehicle, I was not shooting at the individual... it was a very intense moment.”
The shots did not stop Like. After a minutes-long chase, officers crashed the vehicle Like was driving and began to run after him, finally catching him in a field off Gum Stump Road.
“Stop or we’ll shoot you,” an officer exclaimed as they chased him on foot. “We will f---ing shoot you. Get your f---ing hands up.”
Like was then taken to Five Rivers Medical Center after he claimed to feel sick. Police say he was taken to the hospital for an illness unrelated to the chase.
Just days after the incident, police say Like stole another vehicle from the parking lot of the Pocahontas hospital days after the chase. Like was found at the Parkview Restaurant in Corning the same day.
Chief Edington says no one was watching Like at the hospital, saying his staff is shorthanded and due to HIPAA laws, the hospital could not inform them when he was being released.
“Being as most agencies are right now, we’re very short-handed,” Edington said. “We didn’t have the manpower to put someone with him 24-7.”
Cameron Like was arrested again and placed on a $100,000 bond.
After the incident, city officials told Region 8 News Edington followed the correct protocols and no disciplinary action was taken against him.
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