Sheriff’s office investigating report of mayor ‘nearly hitting’ person with vehicle

From Region 8 News at Six
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 6:40 PM CDT
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HOXIE, Ark. (KAIT) - A Lawrence County mayor is under investigation after being accused of trying to run over a man.

The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a report by Lucas Peppers stating that Hoxie Mayor Dennis Coggins attempted to run him over.

WARNING - Explicit Content:

The video, taken by Lucas Peppers, shows Hoxie Mayor Dennis Coggins driving away in his vehicle after a discussion between himself and Peppers.

“I had went last Friday morning to inspect some more records, and I was corresponding back and forth with Nancy Hall and the city worker, Verna, through email, and I was talking to Verna, and she was printing some papers off for me,” Peppers said.

Peppers had appeared at Hoxie City Hall to retrieve some documents he had requested through the Freedom of Information Act.

He stated Mayor Coggins had entered city hall and told him he wasn’t allowed to record in the lobby of the building.

Coggins then left the building, and Peppers followed him, and that’s when he claims the mayor attempted to hit him.

“He revved up and tried to hit me. His tires didn’t exactly squeal. I might’ve heard them chirp just a little, but a train was going by, and you can’t hardly hear it,” Peppers stated.

After driving away, Peppers called 911, and deputies with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and Arkansas State Police responded.

In an interview with a law enforcement officer, Coggins says, “If he gets in front of me again, I’ll run over his ***.”

WARNING - Explicit Content:

Peppers said he feels he is being harassed for attempting to practice his constitutional rights.

“It’s my First Amendment right of free press. Every citizen can engage in a free press.” Peppers explained. “My camera is around my neck. I was engaged in a First Amendment-protected activity. Those cannot be transformed into a crime. Those are our rights.”

K8 News contacted Mayor Dennis Coggins, who said he would not comment until the investigation is closed.

The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation is still ongoing, and no charges have been filed at this time.