Three officers assaulted by man in Lawrence County

Hoxie Police Department authorities and the Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney have requested the Arkansas State Police to conduct a criminal investigation of an incident that resulted in injuries to three local law enforcement officers earlier today.

Shortly before 9 AM a Hoxie police officer encountered a man walking along the overpass at the Arkansas Highway 367 and U.S. Highway 63 intersection. The man, identified as Matthew Dale Hatley, 26, Black Rock (Lawrence County), was carrying what was described as an iron pipe.

According to Hoxie police officers, Hatley was able to enter the officer’s patrol car and began hitting the officer with the pipe. During the assault, Hatley was able to get control of the police officer’s handgun and fired the weapon. The officer was not hit by the gunfire.

Local and state law enforcement back-up assistance quickly arrived, and officers were able disarm Hatley despite his continued resistance.

Two officers were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries and a third was treated and released with minor injuries.

Hatley has been incarcerated at the Lawrence County Detention Center and presently faces multiple charges, including three counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

Questions relating to the identity of the Hoxie police officer who initially encountered Hatley were directed to the Hoxie Police Department.

The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department Criminal Investigation Division is assisting state police special agents in the continuing investigation.

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