Former Mayflower Police Chief Dan Sutterfield, who is currently the police chief of Bull Shoals, has been arrested after an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation showed that Sutterfield used excessive force and falsified a report.
Sutterfield was police chief in Mayflower from January 2010 to July 2010 before resigning and being replaced by Billy Baker. Prior to his time in Mayflower, Sutterfield was the police chief at Damascus.
According to the Baxter Bulletin, FBI agent Tim K. Akins said in an affidavit the charges stem from a July 9, 2013 domestic abuse call Sutterfield and other Bull Shoals police officers responded to.
Sutterfield and officers went to the home Bull Shoals resident Nicholas Dore shared with his girlfriend. The girlfriend called authorities and said Dore grabbed her by the neck and punched her twice in the face.
Sutterfield and officer David Chatman responded to the residence, where Dore refused to come out. Officer Brian Williams then joined Sutterfield and Chatman.
Once all three were on scene, Sutterfield reportedly made the decision to force entry into the home.
Once inside, the officers confronted Dore, but were unable to handcuff the man.
Sutterfield then is alleged to have drive-stunned Dore twice with a Taser.
(Drive-stunning involves an officer physically placing the Taser against a suspect as opposed to triggering darts that shoot out from the stun gun.)
Once Dore was handcuffed, the case file reports Sutterfield kicked Dore repeatedly.
Sutterfield also allegedly struck Dore multiple times with the butt of a shotgun.
Sutterfield then reportedly ordered Dore to get up, and when he could not, court documents say Sutterfield used the Taser to stun Dore several more times.
After the incident, Chatman said Sutterfield told him what to write in his official report.
In that report, Chatman wrote that Sutterfield tased Dore twice because, “Dore pushed towards Sutterfield and I, knocking us partially over a chair and landing in a fireplace.”
“The BSPD incident report of Dore’s arrest is false and misleading in that said report provides false justification for the use of a Taser against Dore after he was arrested, and because said report purposely omits additional force used against Dore after he was handcuffed,” Akins wrote in the affidavit.
Should Sutterfield be convicted of the civil rights violation regarding excessive force, he faces up to 10 years in prison.
The falsification charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail, according to authorities.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.