Police Void Towing Contract With Criminal Suspect
A Fayetteville police towing contractor accused of kidnapping and shooting at his girlfriend earlier this year had his contract terminated by the police department this month because of another arrest.
James Clifton Cox, 56, was arrested Oct. 4 on suspicion of contempt of court concerning his probation stemming from drug charges earlier this year, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. He was released earlier this month from jail on $175,000 bond.
Fayetteville police Chief Greg Tabor chose this month to terminate the five-year exclusive contract the department has with Cox’s towing company, Greenland Wrecker. The contract has a 60-day opt-out clause, so the contract will not be officially terminated until Dec. 8, according to the police department.
Deputy Chief Mike Reynolds told 5NEWS the department gave Cox a fair deal and expected Cox to stay out of trouble. Cox’s most recent arrest was problematic for the department, so the decision was made to move on to a different towing contractor, he said.
The police department had renewed Cox’s contract in April, despite his earlier arrest on suspicion of kidnapping, terroristic threatening and several drug charges. That decision was approved by a selection committee made up of officials from various city departments and the Fayetteville City Council.
Tabor told 5NEWS in January that Cox’s contract would stay intact because of his good work for the police department and his legal rights.
“He’s doing a good job,” Tabor told 5NEWS in January. “Everyone’s innocent until proven guilty.”
With Greenland Wrecker’s departure from the police department’s towing contract, Northwest Arkansas Towing will emerge to replace Cox’s company in December. Northwest Arkansas Towing had served as the secondary towing company while Greenland Wrecker was the primary contractor, police said. A&B Towing will take over secondary duties.
The kidnapping and terroristic threatening charges were dropped after county prosecutors said the ex-girlfriend’s recollection of events did not give them enough evidence to progress in the case
Prosecutors went forward with drug charges, though, and Cox’s case was referred to drug court, according to court documents.
Cox’s ex-girlfriend told police before his initial arrest earlier this year that he kept her at his home in January and threatened her with a pistol. He fired two shots near her and kept her in his home before eventually letting her leave, according to a preliminary report with the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office.
Cox told the woman he would kill her if she told police what happened, the report states.
Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies searched Cox’s home and found fragmented lead, an expended .22-caliber shell casing, a suspected bag of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Deputies then arrested Cox.