West Fork man shoots friend mis­taken for thief

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS -

A 49-year-old Arkansas man shot a friend Fri­day morn­ing af­ter mis­tak­ing him for a thief, ac­cord­ing to a po­lice re­port.

Steven Ar­mantrout told po­lice his 19-year-old son woke him up about 2 a.m. to tell him there was some­one in the back­yard of their West Fork home try­ing to steal the fam­ily’s trailer.

Ar­mantrout grabbed his gun, ran out­side and saw a truck run­ning near the trailer, the re­port said.

Ar­mantrout told po­lice that he’d had pre­vi­ous prob­lems with thieves, so he yelled at the peo­ple in­side the truck to turn off the en­gine, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

He fired a warn­ing shot and be­gan run­ning to­ward the truck, po­lice said. Be­fore he reached it, he tripped and ac­ci­den­tally pulled the trig­ger, the re­port said.

The bul­let went through the front wind­shield, hit­ting a pas­sen­ger in the arm, the re­port said.

Ar­mantrout then re­al­ized that the truck be­longed to two friends to whom he had given per­mis­sion to pick up logs from the trailer, the re­port said, not­ing he didn’t ex­pect them in the mid­dle of the night.

Ar­mantrout was charged with ag­gra­vated as­sault, second-de­gree crim­i­nal mis­chief and second-de­gree bat­tery.

His two friends con­firmed his ac­count of events, ac­cord­ing to the po­lice re­port.

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