FORT SMITH (KFSM) — A video making the rounds on social media shows an senior man being pushed down by a younger one, and now both sides are telling their stories to 5NEWS.
The video was taken at the Timberline Apartments in Fort Smith. 5NEWS spoke with the senior man in the video, Carl Schuler, 76, as well as the younger man, Jarvis Diggs, 25.
Schuler said he was trying to hand the man seen in the video his beer back and is not sure why the fight started. He said he now has a sore on the back of his head where he hit the pavement.
“He had a can of beer in his hand. I tried to keep him out, and I fell backward and hit the ground, hit my head, and he took off.” Schuler said. “A woman here came down and asked me how I was doing and asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital, and I said, ‘no,’ I’ll be fine. I was just trying to get away and get back in my apartment.”
Diggs said he wanted to apologize to Schuler and shouldn’t have pushed him down, but he said he wanted people to know that Schuler had been violent toward him in the past. Diggs said Schuler had threatened Diggs’ girlfriend and accused Diggs of having a dead body in the apartment he visits. Diggs also said that during the argument, Schuler was using racial slurs against him, including calling him the “n-word.”
“I apologize for myself for even reacting like that. I know I am a bigger person. I wasn’t raised like that,” Diggs said. ” He’s an older guy and I know I wasn’t supposed to do that. I want everything to be back fine, so I am going to turn myself in. I want people to know he has problems. I don’t blame him. I blame myself because I should have walked away. I want to turn myself in to clear everything up. I hope he gets help because if not he is going to continue to cause problems and there will be more situations like this. I just want to apologize to his family and him too. But first, I want to apologize for myself for even acting like that.”
Diggs said he believes the senior man has mental issues and needs proper care.
Diggs also said that before him pushing Schuler down, the older man had hit Diggs with his cane and hurt his hand. Diggs said it happened before the person behind the video started recording.
“He hit me when I put my beer down on the stairway. It’s numb,” Diggs said. “Sometimes you need to defend yourself. I was scared. He came at me with a weapon.”
Fort Smith Police said they were “looking into” the video on their Facebook page. Police said they conducted two welfare checks on Schuler, and he was OK. A police officer went to Schuler to take a report and noted that he “smelled of the odor of intoxicating beverages and had slurred speech. It is suspected that Karl was intoxicated at the time of this report and continued to alter his story.” The report also shows that Schuler told them he owned the apartment complex and paid $25million for it. Though, that is not the case.
Other tenants at the apartment complex said they have also witnessed confrontation and aggression from Schumer, something they say they have brought to apartment management’s attention.
On Thursday (Dec.13) Diggs called Fort Smith Police detectives and asked to speak with them about the incident. Police picked Diggs up at the apartments and drove him to the police station for questioning. Diggs was arrested on a battery charge after the interview. The Sebastian County Prosecutor will decide at a later date if official criminal charges will be filed.