Viola man banned from Wal-Mart; threatens officers
A Viola man was arrested on felony charges after he called 9-1-1 and made threats to police officers Dec. 31.
Rodney Kankey, 45, is charged with impairing operations of a vital facility, a class C felony.
Kankey began causing problems in Ash Flat Dec. 29, Police Chief Mike Zeiger said.
He went to Wal-Mart and put an entire aisle's worth of camouflage clothing into shopping carts and then demanded that manager Mike Alexander give him a deal and throw in some shelving. Kankey said he owned the largest western store in the state, Zeiger said.
When Alexander told Kankey the items were priced as marked, Kankey said he was going to meet Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence for breakfast and when he returned "they better have the stuff rang up and ready to load," Zeiger said. Alexander later called Izard County and learned Kankey instead had to pay a hot check or go to jail.
Kankey later called Wal-Mart while he was having an argument with his wife. Alexander put Kankey on hold and called Zeiger to allow him to listen to Kankey. Zeiger said he heard Kankey tell his wife, "I'll slap your jaws if you don't shut up ... I'm gonna shove your finger down your g-d--- throat if you don't shut up."
Zeiger called Fulton County and told them there could be a possible domestic disturbance at Kankey's house, but instead Zeiger was dispatched to the Ash Flat Livestock Auction to deal with the domestic disturbance between Kankey and his wife.
Mrs. Kankey said her husband had not struck her but was verbally abusive. She said Kankey had not slept in three days and he needed mental help. She refused to press charges, Zeiger said.
"I then spoke with Rodney, who was belligerent and rambling about his deal he was making with Wal-Mart," Zeiger said. "I stopped him and advised him Wal-Mart does not want him back in the store and should he go back he will be arrested for criminal trespass."
Two days later the antics began again.
On Dec. 31 a Sharp County dispatcher called Zeiger at home around 8 p.m. and told him Kankey had been calling the dispatch center all night making threats toward Zeiger and Officer Bobby Woods. From 6:25 p.m. to 8:05 p.m. Kankey called four times. Kankey also called Wal-Mart and told them to page his wife and another woman, telling them, "If they are in the store to get out. Their lives are fixing to be in danger," Zeiger said.
Woods and Arkansas State Troopers Jeremy Page and Seth Higginbottom went to Kankey's home to arrest him for impairing operations of a vital facility. Woods said the Fulton County Sheriff's Office "refused to help without a written copy of an arrest warrant," and the troopers were told to return to their posts because they were too far out of their district. Without help, Zeiger told Woods to return to Sharp County until he could arrive and go with him to Kankey's home.
Around 12:30 a.m. Jan. 1 the two arrived in Viola to arrest Kankey. Kankey refused to open the door and yelled, "Get off my f---ing property or I'm going to shoot your a-- through the door," Zeiger said.
Woods and Zeiger drew their pistols and took positions on each side of the door. Kankey refused to talk to anyone except Fulton County Deputy Lloyd Martz. Martz arrived moments later and talked to Kankey through the door for about 30 minutes, but Kankey still refused to come out or open the door, Zeiger said.
"I advised Martz we were in his county and would handle it however he wanted," Zeiger said. "Martz stated, 'I'm not sure I could kick that door in. It looks pretty solid.'"
Martz suggested that the officers wait until daylight to try again. Fulton County deputies went to Kankey's home around 10 a.m. and took him into custody at noon.
According to Zeiger, Fulton County Sheriff Walter Dillinger said, "I've known Kankey a long time. I think he needs some mental health. That just don't seem like Rodney."
"I advised Dillinger I didn't know Kankey personally, but any time someone threatens to shoot me through a door I take it pretty serious, and he had felony charges with us," Zeiger said.
While Zeiger, Woods and Officer Shane Russell were on their way to pick up Kankey around 1 p.m. Zeiger was informed Fulton County had charges on Kankey and he would be processed there before he would be released to Sharp County.
"Dillinger advised he had charges because 'he pulled a gun on his wife,'" Zeiger said.
While speaking to Russell soon after, Mrs. Kankey said, "He pulled a gun this morning while me and his dad were there trying to talk with him, then cocked it and threatened to shoot himself in the head."
On Jan. 2 Fulton County authorities brought Kankey to the Sharp County Jail.
Deputy Johnny Byler with Fulton County told Zeiger that Kankey had been taken to Batesville to be mentally evaluated. When Kankey refused the evaluation he was sentenced to 30 days for contempt of court in Fulton County.
Kankey was booked into the Sharp County Jail.
Dillinger said Kankey was not charged in Fulton County. He was to be transported to Melbourne Jan. 8 to appear before Circuit Judge Tim Weaver, Dillinger said Jan. 5.