West Fork Man Fights Ticket He Calls Unlawful, Police Respond

WEST FORK (KFSM) -- A West Fork man successfully fought a speeding ticket from a traffic stop that was conducted outside city limits.

Nathan Risner said he was heading North on Highway 71 early one morning in January when he was pulled over near a bridge over Mill Creek, north of Woolsey Road.

The West Fork Police Officer wrote Risner a ticket for driving 90 mph in a 55 mph speed zone.

Risner consulted the law firm Norwood & Norwood, which fought the ticket, arguing that the officer had no business conducting a traffic stop outside his assigned jurisdiction.

The city prosecutor later declined to pursue criminal charges.

"It was out of his jurisdiction," Risner said. "Then, they lost the video footage. So that was interesting."

Risner said his attorney's request for dash cam video was unsuccessful.

"I believe they lost the footage because it would have shown that was where he shouldn't have been," Risner said.

In a statement released Thursday (July 12), West Fork police said the officer alerted Washington County about the traffic stop shortly after "making contact with the driver and when it was safe to do so."

Police also said in the statement that the department didn't receive a request for body camera footage.

A look at a city map from West Fork City Hall shows the traffic stop location outside of city limits.

5NEWS also reached out to the Washington County Sheriff's Office to get a better understanding of patrol policy outside city limits.

Kelly Cantrell, public information office for the sheriff's office, pointed to Arkansas Code Annotated 16-81-106, which requires law enforcement officers without jurisdiction to have permission of the municipal or county law enforcement agency having jurisdiction, before making an arrest.

The code makes no mention of traffic violations.

Risner said he hoped his case ensures something similar doesn't happen to someone else.

"If more people that get tickets like this that they shouldn't be getting were to say something or come forward, then maybe, just maybe things might change," Risner said.