Berryville Man Cited For Obstructing Search And Rescue Efforts

Rodney Ford

NOB HILL (KFSM) — A Berryville man who prompted a massive search and rescue operation has been cited for obstructing governmental operations.

Authorities were searching all night on Saturday (Dec. 15) for Rodney Ford, who was reported to have been in an accident on U.S. 412 near Nob Hill Loop.

Ford, 45, told his girlfriend he was badly injured after flipping his semi-truck and didn’t know where he was.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office asked the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for help finding Ford.

Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Highway Patrol, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office and the Nob Hill Fire Department also joined the search, according to an arrest report.

After searching for most of the night, authorities were prepping a flight crew Sunday (Dec. 16) morning when dispatchers reached Ford on his cell phone.

Ford said he didn’t wreck his truck, but that someone had stolen it. Dispatch said Ford sounded drunk and he later hung up.

Dispatchers reached Ford again, but he told them “they put you in jail and don’t give a s*** about you.” He hung up again after repeated attempts and later told dispatchers, “F*** you,” according to the report.

State police later found Ford near Sonora, which is east of Springdale, along with his truck. Ford didn’t show any signs of being intoxicated after taking a breathalyzer test. Medical personnel assessed and cleared Ford.

Ford told police was in Tontitown to pick up a trailer when he was ambushed by a group of men, one of whom struck him in the head.

“I woke up, the truck was crashed in the woods and in the holler,” Ford said, according to the report.

Police noted Ford had a warrant out of Newton County for felon in possession of a firearm, third-degree assault and violating a protection order.

In March, Ford allegedly threatened a woman, saying he would “beat her brains out,” according to court documents.

Ford is free on a $1,230 bond. He has hearing set for Jan. 15, 2019, in Elkins District Court.

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