EUDORA, Ark. — Arkansas State Police have arrested Eudora Police Chief Michael Henderson Pitts on Tuesday for the charge of kidnapping, an offense that allegedly occurred while the chief was on-duty, according to reports.
Court documents revealed that Pitts, 45, is accused of kidnapping John Hill Jr., 49, during an incident that took place in the small Arkansas town of Eudora last year, THV 11 reported.
The series of events began Oct. 26, 2023, at about 7 p.m. when Pitts was first dispatched to Scott’s gas station in Eudora regarding a disturbing the peace call. He was asked to “remove a man who was causing a disruption at the business,” according to the Arkansas State Police.
Pitts arrested Hill on the charges of criminal trespassing, public intoxication, and terroristic threatening. However, Hill was subsequently released since Pitts did not have sufficient space to transport the arrestee in his patrol unit, KATV reported.
The chief’s patrol vehicle reportedly had a bumper stored in the back seat, which prevented prisoner transport, according to the news outlet.
Later that evening Pitts came across Hill at the intersection of Scott and Dent Street. He proceeded to handcuff the man and place him in the back seat of his patrol vehicle. (It’s unclear if he removed the bumper or acquired a different unit.)
According to Hill, the chief said he intended to “beat his ass” once he took him into custody a second time, reported KATV.
Pitts reportedly drove Hill to a remote area in Chicot County, where he aggressively removed the man from his patrol unit and began to batter him, leaving injuries to his face and head, before stranding him at the location.
The Arkansas State Police said Pitts surrendered at the Chicot County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday. He is charged with kidnapping and his bond was set at $5,000.
Eudora is a small town of just over 3 square miles in southeast Arkansas with a population of less than 2,300 residents.
Editors note: News sources for this article referred to Michael Pitts as the town police chief. However, the city website lists him as a patrol sergeant.