Posted on Wednesday, December 09, 2009 11:01:41 AM by DCBryan1
Police serving order shot at, ATF says
LINDA SATTER ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
A Pulaski County man fired several shots Tuesday at officers who attempted to serve a federal warrant at his mobile home at 3106 W. Justice Road in northern Pulaski County, a federal agent said.
No one was injured, and the resident, Johnny Davis, surrendered at about 2:30 p.m., roughly four hours after his standoff with officers began, said Joe Riehl, special agent in charge of the New Orleans Field Division for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Riehl said ATF agents obtained a warrant charging Davis with federal firearms violations and then, upon learning of “potential problems” they might encounter in serving the warrant, sought the help of the Arkansas State Police and the Pulaski County sheriff’s office.
As the officers tried to serve the warrant, Davis refused to come outside, Riehl said. He said that over the course of about four hours, negotiators tried to talk to Davis, and officers deployed tear gas and used other “tactics to make it uncomfortable for him to remain in the house.”
Davis “did fire some rounds at law enforcement officers,” but none of the officers returned fire, Riehl said.
Riehl said Tuesday evening that officers were still processing the crime scene and he couldn’t say how many shots had been fired or what caliber or type of gun was used to fire them.
Davis was taken before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tom Ray about 4 p.m. Tuesday to make his first appearance on a criminal complaint, which wasn’t publicly available late in the day.
In court, however, the judge told Davis that because he had previously been found mentally incompetent by a court and had once been committed to the State Hospital, the judge had no choice but to grant a request for a mental evaluation from defense attorney Patrick Benca.
Benca, appearing at the hastily called hearing in casual clothes, made the request over Davis’ objections.
From a courtroom lectern, Davis told the judge, “I would not like to go for a mental evaluation.” He listed his constitutional rights, including his Second Amendment right to own a gun and his Eighth Amendment right “not be tortured,” among others.
“I also know a lot about Arkansas criminal laws, and I’m not mentally ill,” Davis said.
He nodded his head in agreement after Ray explained why he was granting Benca’s motion and placing Davis in the custody of federal marshals until a mental evaluation is complete.
“The negotiators with the ATF and the Arkansas State Police did an excellent job,” Riehl said later. Noting the presence of officers from those agencies and the U.S. Secret Service, he said, “It was certainly a team effort.”