Man arrested for assaulting judge in Pocahontas grocery store

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Randy Byrd is in Randolph County Jail on a $25,000 cash only bond over the incident, the sheriff confirms

POCAHONTAS, Ark. – Retiring Randolph County Circuit Judge Phil Smith was allegedly assaulted at a grocery store in Pocahontas in the past week.

Law enforcement confirms suspect Randy Byrd is in jail on a $25,000 bond over the alleged attack. Randolph County Sheriff Gary Tribble said Byrd was behind bars, held on a cash only bond for allegedly assaulting Smith last week at Harps Grocery Store in Pocahontas. He was still in jail as of Monday morning. The incident itself is under investigation by the Pocahontas Police Department.

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One source at the scene of the alleged incident, asking to remain anonymous, confirmed to NEA Report it happened on Wednesday, March 14. It began as a verbal altercation before escalating to Byrd physically shoved Smith by “shouldering” him (ramming him with his shoulder). The source said a bystander took Byrd down to the ground after the shove and before any further physicality began.

Smith is the retired Division 2 District Judge for Randolph County Circuit Court. He is finishing up several cases and plans to fill-in for other judges, too, a legal source told me.

NEA Report will have more on this as it develops. We have reached out to sources in the Pocahontas city government, including the city attorney’s office, and are awaiting replies back.

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