by Max Brantley
The Baxter County sheriff favors me with releases of activities up in the hills and the happenings are not always peaceful.
Here's one this morning from the Gaston Resort at Lakeview that illustrates the point that bars and guns are not a good mix — and, happily, that possession of a gun is not always sufficient to control a situation, even when employed by a salty codger also able to employ a head-butt.
February 11, 2011, at approximately 9:50 pm, the Baxter County Sheriff's Office responded to a 911 call at the Gaston Resort in Lakeview. Corporal Eddie Elliott of the Baxter County Sheriff's Office and State Trooper Angela DeWitt arrived and found a male suspect in the lobby being detained by two employees.
The investigation into the incident revealed that the suspect, 67-year-old James Michael Sloan, of Holiday Island, Arkansas, was moving to the Salesville area in Baxter County, and had been a guest at the resort for several days. This evening, Mr. Sloan was in the bar area and became upset with one of the employees at the bar. After being asked to leave, Sloan paid his bill and left. Approximately 30 minutes later, Sloan came back and began arguing and making threats. Sloan was escorted to the lobby area and asked to leave by employee, Troy Campbell, who works as a bartender at the resort. Sloan head butted and began fighting with Mr. Campbell. During the struggle Sloan pulled a loaded Smith and Wesson 380 handgun. A patron at the restaurant heard the commotion and stopped to help. The patron managed to take the gun out of Sloan's hand without it being discharged. Sloan was then subdued until law enforcement arrived.
James Michael Sloan was arrested and charged with felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor carrying a weapon.