Officer/candidate injured on bizarre call

A Jonesboro Police Department patrol car. Photo by Stan Morris.

JONESBORO, Ark. – While Jonesboro police officer Nathan Coleman is seeking the office of mayor, he still works the streets and a call early Wednesday turned physical.

Fortunately, he was able to control the situation before it escalated.

Coleman was dispatched to an unwanted guest call at the 4600-block of Richardson Drive, where a caller reported a white male in a white shirt “beating on his door.” He suspected the man was “off his medication.” Coleman made contact with the man and seemed to work to create a dialogue with the potentially disturbed individual.

The man “began talking to people that were not around,” Coleman wrote in the incident report. “When asked about it, he advised that he was talking telepathically with his wives.”

The man was rambling, Coleman said, and made disturbing statements about “people wearing other people’s skin.”

The officer was able to get the man to agree to go to the hospital peacefully. However, once he arrived, the demeanor seemed to shift. The man was reportedly not cooperating with nurses and trying to leave. Coleman, still at the hospital, tried to defuse the situation once again when the man walked to a sink and “jumped onto it, causing his buttocks to go into the sink basin.”

He then hopped off with his hands clenched into fists and reportedly swung at a man, fortunately missing. Coleman grabbed his arms to try to calm him down, he wrote, but the man grabbed two of his fingers and hyperextended them, injuring the officer’s hand.

The seemingly deranged man grabbed Coleman’s duty belt, or something on it, causing the officer to punch him in the chest once to get him to release the object. He was then placed in the hospital bed and given a sedative.

The injury was minor, with middle and ring finger were sore and stiff from being bent back. Despite that, the suspect faces felony second degree battery injuring a police officer, along with several other misdemeanor charges.

As the man was apprehended on the drunken, insane, or disorderly statute and likely has some form of mental health issue, according to the report, NEA Report is omitting his name.

Coleman, a Jonesboro Police Department officer, is running for mayor of Jonesboro. Also seeking the office is incumbent Harold Perrin, John W. Street, Harold Copenhaver, Amanda Dunavant and Thomas Elwood.

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