West Fork man shoots friend mistaken for thief
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.