The Little Rock police today said a misdemeanor third-degree battery warrant had been issued for the arrest of retired Officer Ralph Breshears, 55, for negligence in firing at a carjacker trying to flee after a reported shoplifting at Home Depot.
KARK’s Mitch McCoy reports that an affidavit for Breshears’ arrest said Breshears was in no danger of being struck and the shooting put the carjacking victim in harm’s way. At the time of the incident, police quoted Breashears as saying he feared for his life.
Events began about 1:15 p.m. July 19 at Home Depot at 12610 Chenal Parkway. Officers were called to a reported shoplifting. Officers took the suspect, Rudy Avila, now 23, into custody and handcuffed him. He got free from officers and ran through the parking lot. In the
Officers chased him to a nearby Chick-fil-A at 12500 W. Markham. Avila forced a restaurant customer out of her car and tried to drive away. Breshears fired at the car, wounding Avila. Another driver used his vehicle to block Avila’s escape. Avila wasn’t seriously wounded.
An internal police investigation followed. The news release said the results were sent to the prosecuting attorney Oct. 20. That office concluded Breshears, who retired in December after 26 years on the force, was negligent. Officers are attempting to locate him to serve the warrant. Correction: I wrote 16 years originally
The affidavit recounts events and includes a description based on a business surveillance camera. It said that after Avila forced a woman driver out of the car in a drive-through lane that Breshears approached from the south “with a single arm outstretched holding what appears to be his service weapon. At this point, the female victim is out of the vehicle and Breshears can be seen on video standing out of the path of the vehicle. As the vehicle begins to move exiting the drive-through Breshears fired his service weapon striking Mr. Avila and placing the female victim in harm’s way. At no point was Breshears in any danger of being run over by the vehicle.”
The affidavit also said Breshears had given a statement “inconsistent” with the surveillance video.