Blogger Russ Racop has obtained the dashboard camera footage of the Jan. 24, 2016, DWI arrest of Asa Hutchinson III, the son of Governor Hutchinson. The younger Hutchinson was convicted of DWI, careless and prohibited driving and refusal to submit to testing on Nov. 30, 2016, but the conviction was overturned last week by a Washington County judge. The original citation issued by the Arkansas State Police indicated that it was daylight when the younger Hutchinson crashed his truck into a guardrail on an exit ramp off Interstate 49 near Fayetteville around 2:55 a.m. A state trooper later voided that ticket and indicated it was dark, but Hutchinson’s attorney said Hutchinson never received the second citation and the statute of limitations had expired.
Hutchinson appears to be disoriented in the dash cam footage. He tells the officer he thinks he’s heading north when he was, in fact, traveling south. After he’s handcuffed, the state trooper asks Hutchinson, “Anything on you you’re not supposed to have?” After mumbling unintelligibly, Hutchinson tells the trooper he has a gun. Hutchinson is asked if he has a concealed carry license, and he responds that it has expired.
Bill Sadler, a spokesman for the Arkansas State Police, said Hutchinson was not charged with carrying a firearm, a class A misdemeanor, but his weapon was held by state police “until such time it could be released pursuant to applicable laws and criminal procedure.”
Asked why he wasn’t charged, Sadler said, “It would have been up to the discretion of the trooper.”
A Freedom of Information Act exemption enacted several years ago keeps the public from knowing anything about concealed carry holders in Arkansas. One of the state police’s listed reasons in its administrative rules for concealed carry for revoking a license is if a permit holder has been found guilty of an alcohol-related offense while carrying a handgun.