Sheriff: Sebastian County Man Arrested After Pointing Rifle At Deputies

Handcuffs on wooden table

SEBASTIAN COUNTY (KFSM) — A Sebastian County man was arrested on Tuesday (Oct. 18) after he brandished a weapon at officers last week, according to a Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office press release.

Bruce Sampson, 70, of Hartford, is facing charges of aggravated assault on law enforcement, and he had outstanding warrants for failure to comply with a summons and contempt of court, the release states.

On Thursday (Oct. 13) two deputies and a Mansfield Police officer visited Sampson at his home in the 500 block of South Pine Street in relation to a dog that had been shot by a neighbor.

After officers knocked on the door, Sampson wouldn’t fully reveal himself in the doorway, the release states. Officers said he was belligerent. After a request to show his hands, Sampson opened the door with a rifle in hand, which he brought up to shooting position and pointed at the Mansfield Officer.

The law enforcement officers drew their weapons and ordered Sampson to drop his weapon, but he refused, according to the release. He went back into his home, and then returned to the door without the weapon and began yelling at the deputies to get off his property. He went back inside his home and officers left.

On Friday (Oct. 14) the Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office issued a warrant for his arrest.

He was taken into custody on Tuesday and booked into the Sebastian County Detention Center. He is being held on a $12,000 bond.

During a search of Sampson’s home, deputies seized two rifles, a shotgun and a pistol.

“Our main job is to keep the peace. There are times when deadly force must be used by officers but if there is an alternative we are always trying to seek that alternative to make sure not only are we safe but more importantly the public,” said Sebastian County Sheriff Phillip Pevehouse. “It took a few days, but with careful planning we were able to make sure this all went peacefully. I am proud of not only the restraint from the Mansfield police officer that was present but our two deputies that were there with him in the fact they preserved life and kept the peace and we were still able to complete our mission.”


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