Favorite

Rumor control 

We get tips. For example, a recent caller said:
The weekend of July 1-2, one of some 13,000 teens in town for a regional soccer tournament was raped at her Little Rock motel. As the caller told it, the city went into damage control. It provided plane tickets to the girl’s family, a new room in the Peabody Hotel and a news blackout.
Our search for facts had an inauspicious start. Terry Hastings, the normally cooperative police information officer, said he couldn’t release the report. I said I thought incident reports were public record. I asked him to take the request up the ladder and also called City Manager Bruce Moore.
Not long after, the report was sent along. And here’s the rest of the story.
The 14-year-old girl from North Carolina was staying at the Holiday Inn Express near the airport. She said she was walking downstairs the morning of Sunday, July 2, when a man in his 40s dragged her into a room and raped her. He then let her go and drove away in a black car.
The patrol officer who responded reported that the room in which the assault took place was used by a crew working on hotel remodeling, but the crew boss said none of the workers were using the room that weekend.
City Manager Moore was notified by the police. He called the acting mayor, Barbara Graves, who promptly headed downtown to meet with the girl and her family. Dan O’Byrne, director of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, also was notified.
The family was moved from the scene of the attack to the Peabody Hotel (and perhaps 20 other soccer visitors were moved to new lodging). O’Byrne said the Peabody comped the rooms for the victim’s family. The Convention and Visitors Bureau bought plane tickets for the father, mother and daughter to fly home the next day. “It was the right thing to do,” said O’Byrne. “We reacted as we would for any group in town. Our responsibility is to our visitors and guests.”
Our tipster seemed critical of two things — the lack of publicity and the city’s expenditures on behalf of the victim. The city has many crime victims, he said. They are often featured prominently on the nightly news, but receive no form of compensation.
Moore responded, “I thought it was very important that the city show compassion to the family and the victim and to let them know police were investigating this as they would any other alleged rape.” He insisted that no effort was made to keep the event secret, except to protect the victim’s identity. (It was redacted from the police report, as the law provides.)
Moore said that the city is concerned about all crime victims and demonstrated this when it took over paying two employees to run a victims’ assistance program in the police department.
“Nobody was under any orders to hold back or not report something,” Moore said. “If we’re going to err, we’re going to err on the side of being compassionate and pro-active with a family. And they appreciated it.”
So there, tipster, is the city’s side of the story you heard. Plus this: Police spokesman Hastings told us Monday that police so far “have not found evidence the incident occurred the way it was reported.” Further interviews with the victim may be necessary.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Bootstraps for me, not thee

    Mean spirit, hypocrisy and misinformation abound among the rump minority threatening to wreck state government rather than allow passage of the state Medicaid appropriation if it continues to include the Obamacare-funded expansion of health insurance coverage for working poor.
    • Apr 14, 2016
  • Trump: The Obama of 2016?

    Conner Eldridge, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, launched an assault on Boozman Monday morning rich with irony and opportunity.
    • May 5, 2016
  • Double-talk

    A couple of instances of doublespeak cropped up in Little Rock over the weekend.
    • Jun 29, 2017

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • We're No. 1! in vote suppression

    It's not often that Arkansas can claim national leadership, so give Secretary of State Mark Martin credit for something.

    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Bangin' in LR

    About 2:30 a.m. Saturday, with the Power Ultra Lounge downtown jammed for a rap show by Finese2Tymes (Ricky Hampton of Memphis), gunfire broke out. Before it was over, 25 people had been wounded by gunfire and three others injured in the rush for safety.
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
  • Pay attention

    If anyone thinks that a crisis with the Power Ultra Lounge shooting, then he hasn't been paying attention to Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Another Jesus

    • And I quote: "Sounds like maybe some of those descriptors hit a little close to…

    • on July 21, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • Hey Bishop, when did God say "Grab them by the pussy?"

    • on July 21, 2017
  • Re: Pay attention

    • Well said. I believe that male mentors are another key way to connect our local…

    • on July 21, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation