Conway police charge Rapert critic with filing false police report; critic sees retaliation | Arkansas Blog

Conway police charge Rapert critic with filing false police report; critic sees retaliation

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Stephan Ferry, a Conway resident who has been raising money for a potential lawsuit against Sen. Jason Rapert to challenge his blocking people from social media accounts, has been accused of filing a false police report alleging he'd been threatened by Rapert.

The police report indicates the police had concluded that Rapert had told the truth and Ferry, 45, had not about a telephone call between the two men. Ferry complained Jan. 24 to the Conway police that Rapert threatened to send someone after him. Rapert, who recorded the call, said this according to the Conway police transcription of the tape Rapert provided them:

I want to put you on notice that if you continue to harass and intimidate and send threatening messages to me via email, social media or contact my office then I will file a police report with law enforcement and they can investigate this matter further sir.

The police earlier recorded Ferry in a complaint to them about Rapert threats. At one point, according to the report, Ferry quoted Rapert as saying, "I'm sending people after you." He said Rapert had asked for information about his phone and address and when he resisted, Rapert said: "That's OK. I have people to come after you and I'm in touch with law enforcement and as soon as we hang up I'll be contacting them and giving them a recording of this phone call."

STEPHAN FERRY: Charged with making false complaint against Jason Rapert.
  • STEPHAN FERRY: Charged with making false complaint against Jason Rapert.
The police report, prepared Jan. 25, said it was clear from the full content of Rapert's recording — not included with the report — that this isn't what Rapert said.  But he repeatedly warned Ferry not to call him or he'd call police. According to the report, Rapert said:

Be on notice: Do not call, do not attempt to reach me in any manner, do not come near my home, my business, do not come anywhere near me anywhere in this community sir. And I'm gonna turn you in right now and I'll let them investigate the matter.
The report, by Officer Thomas Cole, said the statement Ferry made was false, he knew it was false and his statement that he didn't know what Rapert had meant by all his statements "lacks any credibility."

The report said it would be forwarded to the city attorney for possible filing of a charge of filing a false police report. A Conway police spokesman said Conway City Attorney Chuck Clawson received the information and authorized today the charge of filing a false report of criminal wrongdoing, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. Ferry was released this morning after posting a $1,195 bond. He was ordered to have no contact with Rapert. So much for redress of government grievances with the senator.

He later posted this message on the Facebook page Arkansans Against Jason Rapert:

I was just arrested by Conway Police Department, and I believe this is coordinated retaliation for speaking out against the bully of Bigelow. I have paid the bond, and want you all to know, no matter how much power mad Stanley thinks he has, I will not be silenced. I will not share any details of my arrest at the moment, other than I am 100% innocent of the charges against me.Justice shall prevail. I will not be silenced.
Ferry told me yesterday his conversation came when Rapert finally responded to multiple attempts to contact him to ask him questions about legitimate issues, including his blocking of people with critical comments from his Twitter and Facebook accounts that he uses to communicate with constituents. Rapert finally returned the call and they had the contentious conversation, reminiscent of conversations he's had with others. This is not the first time Rapert has gone to a police agency over interactions with critical constituents. He's also complained to State Police and Capitol police. In one famous incident — disputed by Rapert — a constituent said Rapert told him he was armed when the constituent tried to ask Rapert a question about same-sex marriage on the parking lot of a Conway home improvement store. Rapert has also fought with Wikipedia and threatened libel over material he didn't like in descriptions of him.

Note: Police records show Ferry's first name as Stephane, but he's been using the spelling Stephan in communications with me.

Here's the full police report.

Here also here is the warrant request packet prepared by the city attorney.

UPDATE: Ferry added in a text message:

My  perception of what he told me was clearly a threat. I did not have my phone with me to reference what he exactly said. Then I discovered that I did not have the full recording, and when I was told that he did, and was submitting it to Det Cole, I asked for it. Cole declined, said I could come listen to it if I wanted to.  I began to suspect something fishy, so I filed that FOIA
He filed the FOI Wednesday. The criminal charge against him followed.

Rapert has not responded to my request for comment.



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