Arkansas police chief arrested and charged with kidnapping

Feb 1, 2024, 11:56 AM

EUDORA, Ark. (AP) — The police chief in Eudora, Arkansas, has been arrested and charged with kidnapping.

The felony kidnapping charge stems from Police Chief Michael Pitts’ actions in October 2023, Arkansas State Police said in a statement.

“Chief Pitts denies the allegations and we intend to defend the case vigorously,” his attorney, Russell Wood, told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Pitts was fired from his job earlier this week, Wood said, adding intends to plead not guilty to the charges.,

Pitts, 45, was dispatched to a gas station in Eudora after reports that a man was causing a disturbance, state police said. Investigators determined Pitts illegally detained John Hill Jr., police said. Pitts took Hill to a remote location in Chicot County and assaulted him and left him stranded, according to the state police statement.

On the way to the remote location, the chief told Hill that he was going to “beat his ass,” Hill told investigators.

“Upon reaching County Road 86, Mr. Hill alleges that Chief Pitts forcibly removed him from the patrol unit and subjected him to a brutal assault, resulting in significant injuries to his face and head,” an Arkansas State Police special agent wrote in a court affidavit.

Pitts surrendered to the Chicot County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday. His bond was set at $5,000.

National News

Associated Press

US House Judiciary Committee chair seeks details from ATF on airport director shooting

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The chair of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Monday asked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to provide documents and information about its raid at the home last month of the Little Rock airport director who was died after a shootout with agents serving a search warrant. […]

13 minutes ago

Associated Press

Minnesota state senator arrested on suspicion of burglary

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A state senator and former broadcast meteorologist was arrested on suspicion of burglary early Monday in the northwestern Minnesota city of Detroit Lakes, police said. Democratic Sen. Nicole Mitchell, 49, of Woodbury, was being held in the Becker County Jail on suspicion of first-degree burglary. Formal charges were still pending Monday afternoon, […]

34 minutes ago

Associated Press

William Strickland, a longtime civil rights activist, scholar and friend of Malcom X, has died

BOSTON (AP) — William Strickland, a longtime civil rights activist and supporter of the Black Power movement who worked with Malcom X and other prominent leaders in the 1960s, has died. He was 87. Strickland, whose death April 10 was confirmed by a relative, first became active in civil rights as a high schooler in […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Insider Q&A: Trust and safety exec talks about AI and content moderation

Alex Popken was a longtime trust and safety executive at Twitter focusing on content moderation before leaving in 2023. She was the first employee there dedicated to moderating Twitter’s advertising business when she started in 2013. Now, she’s vice president of trust and safety at WebPurify, a content moderation service provider that works with businesses […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Lawsuit alleges negligence in hiring of maintenance man accused of torturing resident

BALTIMORE (AP) — April Hurley’s attacker entered her apartment after identifying himself as the building maintenance man — a job he should never have obtained, according to a lawsuit filed Monday that accuses the property owner and management company of engaging in negligent hiring practices. Once inside the apartment, Jason Billingsley tortured Hurley and her […]

4 hours ago

Photo: Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump sits in the courtroom at...

Michael R. Sisak, Jennifer Peltz, Eric Tucker and Jake Offenhartz, The Associated Press

Trump tried to ‘corrupt’ the 2016 election, prosecutor alleges as hush money trial gets underway

Trump tried to illegally influence the 2016 election by preventing damaging stories about himself from becoming public, a prosecutor said.

4 hours ago

Arkansas police chief arrested and charged with kidnapping