A Fulton County jury found Doug Hodges, 38, of Dolph, guilty of third-degree battery July 8 for attacking Salem police officer Charles D. Bost. He was sentenced to one year in the Fulton County jail.
The verdict stemmed from an incident Feb. 8, 2002, when Fulton County officers David Estes and Brad Schaufler were involved in a high speed chase north of Viola on gravel roads.
Bost said officers were patrolling the area when they met Hodges on the road. Hodges had outstanding warrants from two counties. Officers suspected that a fugitive, Henry Howell, was also in the vehicle. Estes and Schaufler attempted to stop Hodges but he fled, Bost said.
The chase lasted about six miles before Hodges stopped his vehicle.
Officers contacted Bost to assist with transporting Hodges to jail while Estes and Schaufler continued to search the area for Howell, Bost said.
Officers thought Howell had fled on foot and entered the woods, Bost said.
Authorities were never able to determine if Howell was in the vehicle.
When Bost and Hodges arrived at the jail Bost said Hodges kept repeating to him that he wasn't going to jail. He said all he wanted to do was go home. Bost said he tried to reason with him by explaining that he could not release him.
Bost said he obtained the keys to lock Hodges in a cell but he tried to flee. Bost said he grabbed Hodges by his coat in an attempt to restrain him. Hodges hunched down and rammed Bost into a window frame, he said.
Mammoth Spring Police Officer Jamie Turnbough and Fulton County jailer Arlis Linderman assisted Bost with subduing Hodges, he said.
Bost said as soon as the accused pushed him he felt pain in his right shoulder. He went to the emergency room at the Fulton County Hospital. X-rays were taken on his shoulder but Bost said technicians were not able to see the soft tissue damage that had occurred during the scuffle. Bost said the injury was described by the emergency room doctor as a separation of the right shoulder.
Bost was later referred to a specialist in Little Rock who discovered a fracture in his back. Arthroscopic surgery was done to assess the degree of damage to the tissue, he said.
Bost said doctors diagnosed his injuries as a degeneration of cartilage on the head of the humerus.
Due to the injury he has lost 25 percent range of motion which will continue to worsen, he said.
Bost said specialists have advised him that a total shoulder replacement is his only option.
He said he is concerned that if he has to get physical with a prisoner his injury could become a liability due to lack of strength in his right arm.
"I'm disabled for the rest of my life. It's too bad this happened. My shoulder is ruined," he said.
Bost said, "As long as I can draw my pistol I will continue to work. When I can't do that it's time to hang it up."
Bost said he doesn't have any ill feelings against Hodges. He said the accused will have it rough serving time in the county jail because of the lack of recreation and entertainment. He said prosecutors offered Hodges a plea bargain in May to plead to battery in the second degree but he refused. Bost said if Hodges had accepted the plea he probably would have only spent a few months in prison.
Hodges was originally charged with a felony but the jury found him guilty of a misdemeanor. Bost said he thinks the jury could not understand how a handcuffed inmate could injure another person. "But even handcuffed, they (inmates) can be dangerous," he said.
Bost said the defense attorney Brad Sipe made sure the jury understood his client never punched or hit his victim.
Bost said jurors deliberated close to two hours to reach a verdict but only five minutes to decide the punishment.
In addition to his confinement he is also ordered to pay $1,000 in fines, court costs of $150 and DNA tests of $250.
"Hodges will get out of jail but I will still have the injury," Bost said.