Sheriff: Deputy ‘terminated’ following assault arrest

Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 3:04 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 7, 2023 at 10:56 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A sheriff’s deputy found himself on the wrong side of the bars and out of a job.

According to a preliminary incident report, the Poinsett County Sheriff’s Office responded around 6:46 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, to an undisclosed home regarding a “physical altercation.”

The caller reportedly told dispatch that the suspect, 42-year-old William Jason Thomas, was “drunk and being physically violent” with the victim.

“Once contact was made with Mr. Thomas, he showed apparent signs of being intoxicated, laying in the kitchen floor, slurring his words, and incoherent of his surroundings,” the report stated.

The victim reportedly told deputies that Thomas, while he was naked from the waist down, had placed them in a leg lock.

When the victim asked him to stop, “he started squeezing with his legs harder,” the report stated.

It was then the caller came into the room, saw what was happening, and called 911, Sgt. Dillon Pigue reported.

After speaking with the victim and witness, deputies arrested Thomas on suspicion of second-degree assault on a family or household member.

Due to his position as a Poinsett County sheriff’s deputy and a former Trumann police officer, Thomas was taken to the Craighead County Detention Center to await a probable cause hearing.

On Tuesday, Poinsett County District Court Judge Ron Hunter found probable cause to charge Thomas and set an O.R. (own recognizance) bond. The judge also issued a no-contact order.

Thomas is scheduled to appear in circuit court on Feb. 27.

Poinsett County Sheriff Kevin Molder told Region 8 News on Tuesday morning that Thomas had been “terminated” and was no longer an employee.