FULTON COUNTY, Ark. – Authorities in Fulton County are investigating the assault of a U.S. Marine, taking place over the Independence Day weekend, according to the Marine’s viral Facebook post.
Sharp County Sheriff Mark Counts first said on Wednesday an investigation was taking place. He said he, himself had spoken to the Marine, Kyzyl Tenpenny, of Woodson, Ark., but he determined the attack took place in Fulton County.
Fulton County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy, Al Roork, told NEA Report on Friday the incident was being investigated and a report had been made with their office by Tenpenny.
“We have a lot of assaults on Spring River on holiday weekends but this was reported to my investigator and he is looking into it,” Tenpenny said. “The problem we have is, on holiday weekends, we have hundreds and hundreds show up from surrounding states. A lot are from Memphis, Mississippi, Jonesboro, Springfield and even Little Rock. Of course, people come there to float and have a good time and drink beer and they’re with their own group of people. They float down the river, get into it, have fights, and a lot of stuff happens. Typically these people don’t know who these people are, and its looking like that it may be that situation.”
Roork mentioned he had devoted special attention to this. He said it would be difficult to solve without tips from someone who may have seen it occur.
“If we had some canoe numbers or anything to go on, it would really help,” Roork said. “We need someone to give us a bread crumb to follow.”
For 37 years, Roork has been in law enforcement on Spring River, he said. He has witnessed many “brutal beatings,” but said the campgrounds were good about reporting most of them. He commented there are currently many assault cases from the holiday weekend being worked by his department.
“We want everybody to be safe on the river and have a good time but everybody knows when you involve a bunch of young men and a bunch of alcohol…” Roork said.
A post from a woman on the NEA Report Facebook page, who said she knew Tenpenny, said others in his group were also attacked. She said this was why his friends weren’t able to help, as they were defending themselves as well.
Some have questioned the story, but a local Marine spoke on condition of anonymity and said Tenpenny’s story, if fabricated, would jeopardize his career and likely result in a “dishonorable discharge.” In addition, there are charges one could face for falsifying a police report. With mention of that, she said it would not make sense for him to make something like this up.
While Spring River can be rambunctious, Roork said he hasn’t seen much in racism or race-motivated attacks from parties in the area.
“We’ve had black people up there in fights as much as white people in fights,” Roork said.
To report information to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, call 870-895-2601.
The original story may be found here.