LONOKE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
TALL TALE: Former Sgt. David Houser, shown here in a booking photo after his arrest on Nov. 3.
Out of Lonoke County comes the bizarre case of David Houser
, a former sergeant with the England police department who allegedly shot himself in the chest in October as part of a fabricated tale about a traffic stop turned violent. We noted the story
after Houser was arrested on Nov. 3.
Houser was arraigned yesterday on one charge of filing a false report with a law enforcement agency. The charge is a Class D felony, in part because of the severity of the crime that Houser allegedly lied about.
According to an affidavit filed in Lonoke County Circuit Court by Sgt. Scott Russell, Houser radioed in a traffic stop to England police dispatch around 2 a.m. on Oct. 24. Moments later, he radioed back to dispatch that he'd been struck by gunfire and "provided a description of the assailant vehicle as a gray or silver Tahoe/Yukon driven by a Hispanic male."
Houser reported during an initial interview with police that the driver had fired four rounds at him, one of which "struck him in the left shirt pocket."
"The round entered his shirt pocket, hit an ink pen and richocheted out. It was apparent the round never hit his body armor," the affidavit states. The crime sparked a multiple day manhunt by England PD and the Arkansas State Police in search of the shooter, who never materialized.
Then, Russell continues, other details emerged:
On November 2, 2015, a follow-up interview was conducted with Sgt. Houser in which he admitted to shooting himself. Sgt. Houser told this affiant that he lied about the incident and there was no Hispanic suspect. Sgt. Houser stated that he got spent shell casings form the England Police Department and scattered them on the roadway to make it look like a shooting had occurred. He shot himself in the chest and then fired additional rounds into a field so it would appear as though he had been in a shooting.
The court documents give no clue as to why exactly Houser perpetrated this ruse. He was assigned an attorney from the public defender's office, and a jury trial has been set for March 23.
Here's the full affidavit.