The Little Rock Police Department has confirmed to the Tolbert Report that Arkansas Surgeon General Joe Thompson was arrested Saturday night in Little Rock.
According to the police report, Thompson was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest – refusal to submit to arrest, attempting to influence a public servant, and use of force.
The incident involved a security guard for Stephens Inc. – Jacob Farque – who was paroling the neighborhood near Thompson’s home on Ridgeway. From the report…
Farque advised Thompson smelled heavily of alcohol and was demanding his (Farque) reasons for being in the neighborhood. Farque advised Thompson he was with the Stephens, Inc. And he was performing a patrol of a residence in the area. Thompson demanded to see identification, so he showed Thompson his badge, Stephens Inc. security ID, and his state security commission badge. Thompson kept his left arm down out of view, giving him the impression Thompson had a weapon. Farque exited the vehicle and walked around to meet with Thompson for safety concerns. Thompson started to ask for phone numbers and a business card. Farque advised him he did not have either, but would be happy to call out a supervisor or if Thompson so chose to call the police. Thompson responded with slurs and obscene language. Farque is an armed security guard. During their encounter, Thompson kept brushing up against him. Farque went inside his patrol unit and locked his fire arm in a lock box, but kept his taser out for protection.
The security guard called 911 and two Little Rock policemen responded at which point Thompson was hostile with them.
Thompson (who had a strong odor of alcohol and was swaying as he stood) immediately turned his attention to officer Kinsey who had his flashlight out and was pointing at the waistband of Thompson. When officer Kinsey attempted to explain this, Thompson took an aggressive and hostile stance towards officer Kinsey. Thompson came within 1 and ½ inches from his face and began to yell at him. Thompson advised he was the surgeon general and his neighbors would back him in this matter.
As the situation escalated, Thompson was forcibly arrested. In the police car, he told the officers that he was “the Surgeon General and you have made a mistake, because I work for the Governor.”
In addition to being Surgeon General, Thompson is director of Arkansas Center for Health Improvement for which he earns a salary of $252,504.
A copy of the police report is here. More as this develops.
UPDATE – Matt DeCample spokesman for Gov. Beebe tells me that the governor will watch as this proceeds, and if the allegations prove true, then the behavior was inappropriate and he will talk to Dr. Thompson about it.
“At present, he does not see anything that prevents Dr. Thompson from continuing to do his job,” said DeCample.