Man goes wild at funeral with sheriff in attendance

Photo of a Randolph County Sheriff's Office truck. Photo taken in 2016

POCAHONTAS, Ark. – While he was attending attending the funeral of friends to his family, the Randolph County Sheriff had to spring into action to apprehend a strangely behaving man.

It began Tuesday, according to a report from Randolph County Sheriff’s Department. NEA Report contacted Sheriff Gary Tribble, who was primarily concerned with the privacy of the family. Only after we assured the sheriff of our sensitivity to the matter did he agree to discuss it.

Tribble was attending graveside services Tuesday when he said all of a sudden, he noticed several attendees, including the pallbearers, running across the cemetery.

“I took off running in their direction because I thought, ‘That’s not normal. That’s a problem,'” Tribble recounted.

Evidently, a woman at the funeral was given a scare by a deranged man, whom we are not identifying due to the minor nature of the charges and potential mental health situation. A woman reported he tried to get into the vehicle with her and those on the scene didn’t know why – if he was trying to steal it, or worse.

When Tribble reached the man, he took over. The man had no identification, no license and no other documents he could produce, the report said.

“Over the course of the funeral, I took him into custody and had him transported over to the jail,” Tribble said. “At the jail we learned his identity, filed a report and we contacted and had him screened to see what the problem was.”

The mental health screening indicated the man was not suffering from a problem with that, indicating a possible drug issue, however, the man was taken before the judge on a disorderly conduct charge and released to his family from out of state, who came to pick him up.

While it was a strange situation, with the man having acted equally unusually in a local business earlier in the day, Tribble being present helped stop it from being a possible tragic memory for an already-grieving family.

In addition, the services were in the same cemetery that many relatives of the sheriff have been buried in, making it all the more personal.

“I’ve not ever had something like that happen before,” Tribble said. “I think the world of this family. I feel close to them and the last thing I felt like that family needed was someone there disturbing them.”

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