PARKIN, Ark. — The mayor of Parkin, Arkansas, was arrested for misdemeanor assault for allegedly slapping her nephew after a wreck involving a city vehicle.
According to the Cross County Sheriff’s Office, Mayor Diane Patterson hired her nephew, Shelton Lucas, to replace the transmission on the Parkin city truck.
Patterson started the vehicle and backed it into a pine tree, according to a March 8 police affidavit. She then drove at a high speed and hit hit the back porch of the victim's house.
“Some way, she came from the pine tree to back here and hit the house," said Gail Lucas, the victim's mother.
When the victim asked Patterson if she was okay, Patterson seemed shocked and said, "yes," the report said.
Officers got to the scene, and Patterson told them the victim tried to sabotage the vehicle so she would wreck it.
When the victim told police he did not sabotage the vehicle, Patterson allegedly slapped him in the face with an open hand.
“She got out of the truck after the accident happened and slapped him,” Gail Lucas said. She denied her son would have sabotaged the vehicle.
“I know my son. I don’t think he’d do something like that. He is the type of person who wouldn’t harm anyone," she said.
Deputies charged Patterson with misdemeanor assault.
Gail Lucas said her son now wants to drop those charges but she thinks there should be even bigger consequences for an elected official.
“It’s up to the people," she said. "She’s a lovable person but I don’t think she should’ve laid hands on my son.”
Lucas says the mayor promised to have insurance pay for the repairs but she hasn’t heard anything.
Patterson said she had no further comment on what happened beyond what the report says and she promises the insurance will fix the damage at the home.
The Cross County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday another warrant was served for failure to appear, because Patterson failed to show up in District Court Tuesday. The sheriff's office said Patterson was on the courthouse grounds, but was at the wrong court room. A new court date of June 26 was issued.