On August 6, 2018 Arkansas State Police arrested Cherokee Village Police Officer Joshua Trivitt, 44, for second-degree battery in the beating of a man in 2016. Trivitt was already a defendant in a civil rights lawsuit over the incident. The lawsuit was filed in May 2018 and names two Ash Flat police officers, a Sharp County reserve deputy, and Officer Trivitt as defendants.
The arrest stems from an incident on November 12, 2016, when several officers responded to Randall Veazie’s house in Ash Flat, Arkansas due to a domestic issue.
In a 911 call, Veazie’s wife told a dispatcher that Mr. Veazie was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When officers arrived, Mrs. Veazie told them that she had been fighting with her husband and that he was inside the house rolling marijuana, according to Fox 16 News.
Both the police report and the lawsuit state that Mr. Veazie was apparently intoxicated when police officers began talking with him.
The lawsuit alleges that Officer Trivitt then body-slammed Veazie. Upon that, Officer Tom Rigsby of the Ash Flat Police Department hit Veazie on the side of the head with a flashlight while Veazie was laying on the ground and handcuffed, which caused severe bleeding to Veazie's head.
The lawsuit states Veazie suffered several bone fractures and deep cuts from the incident. The suit also alleges that the officers began laughing about how badly Veazie was bleeding.
The Law Offices of Harris & Morrison of Blytheville is representing Veazie, the law office issued this statement:
“Officer Trivett’s arrest today is long past due. We are pleased that the authorities have investigated this matter and that the wheels of justice are finally beginning to turn. It does not, however, abrogate our disbelief that it has taken nearly two (2) years for the law to catch up with Officer Trivett. It is our hope that authorities will provide our client with victim services, just as they would any other individual in his position.”
One of Veazie’s attorneys, Zach Morrison, said the plaintiff’s medical bills exceeds $50,000 thus far. Following the Arkansas State Police's investigation into the matter, Officer Trivitt was arrested.
Officer Trivitt is the only officer to be arrested, the others were put on administrative leave.
Interestingly enough, Officer Trivitt’s wife was also arrested in an unrelated matter. In April 2017, Mandy Trivitt was accused of embezzling more than $150,000 from her employer Musick Pest Control.
Mrs. Trivitt’s charges include theft of property, second-degree forgery, and fraudulent use of a credit/debit card. Her case is ongoing.