BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. – A Blytheville man says three Blytheville police officers left him outside the Mississippi County Jail wearing little more than a hospital gown after what he characterizes as a violent arrest which led to a hospital visit.
His account is backed up by a written statement from a nurse and jail booking officer, but Blytheville’s police chief is defending his officer’s actions.
Things began when police showed up at Abbie Rumph’s home Thursday to arrest him on a domestic battery charge.
He said he first hid in the attic, but after falling through the ceiling, ran out of a window and was tased before finally surrendering in a nearby field.
“I can feel an officer’s knee go on my head and my neck and I just went to scream,” said Rumph.
Rumph said an officer took him to the hospital but that doctors didn’t check his neck or back which he said were giving him pain.
When police took him to the Mississippi County Jail, he said jail staff refused to admit him and urged the officer to take him back to the hospital to be checked out.
“The officer that took me there, he was like, ‘I’m not taking him no second time to the hospital,’” said Rumph.
“I can hear over the radio the captain yelling, ‘Just cite him and dump him in the parking lot!’” he added.
Blytheville Police Ross Thompson said Rumph was “delivered to the jail per state law after he was medically discharged and found fit to go to jail by our local emergency room.”
He added that the jail “by law cannot refuse him. Any additional attention an arrestee might need after that is the responsibility of the jail.”
According to the nurse and booking officer, two more Blytheville police officers soon arrived at the jail.
“The captain opened up the door and they drug me out and threw me on the ground. I can hear the captain say, ‘I should have thrown you in the ditch,’” said Rumph.
The nurse on scene quoted one jail staffer as saying, “They just dumped him out like a sack of taters.”
“That’s not even human. You wouldn’t do a dog like that. Leave him out there in the cold with nothing on to shield him or nothing,” said Rumph’s mother, Sheila.
Rumph said the sheriff’s office called him an ambulance and he spent the night in the hospital.
But he says what’s most painful is knowing how little his life seemed to matter.
“Him even telling me he was gonna throw me in the ditch, it really hurts,” Rumph said.
Rumph said he would like the officers involved to be fired.
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