42, Lamar Davis,Gov. Mike Beebe's
deputy chief of staff, was carjacked
about 1 a.m. this morning and roughed up by three robbers. His injuries didn't require hospitalization, but he's convalescing today, spokesman Matt DeCample said.
The robbers took Davis' wallet, which held $300 and credit cards, and his Dodge Ram pickup. The men escaped from police after crashing it in a chase.
A report of the incident said Davis was driving on Asher Avenue to go to a nightclub when three men stepped into the road and flagged him down. One man had a gun and Davis said they hit him multiple times. Davis said the men made him sit in a passenger seat of the truck and they drove to an Arvest Bank branch at 19th and University to withdraw money from an ATM. He said a woman followed in a white minivan. He said the men threatened to kill him if he ran. Then, the report said, the men drove him to 19th and Tyler and made him lie on the ground. He called the police from an address nearby after they drove away.
The police had already been alerted to look for men in a Dodge Ram because of a separate report from a woman at the Acme Motel. She said that a man she identified as Mark Wilson, whom she described as father of her child, was robbed by three men who hit him in the head with a bottle several times then made him get into a black Dodge Ram, supposedly to go to a bank to withdraw money. DeCample said Davis was asked if he knew a Mark Wilson when they responded to his call. He does not, DeCample said. The theory is that Davis was robbed and then the men used his truck to rob someone else. He said the police report reflects separate incidents.
When a description of the truck was broadcast, State Police spotted it going west on Wright Avenue. A chase began and the truck crashed near University Drive and Campus Drive on the UALR campus. Those in the truck successfully ran from police.
UPDATE: Police have now told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that they believe there was only one robbery and that both accounts are referring to a single crime. They have not explained the discrepancies.