A 27-year-old Ward man was arrested on March 6 on a charge of aggravated assault (D Felony) and carrying a weapon after Sherwood police received a report of a man pointing a gun at another man during a road rage incident on East Kiehl Avenue.
Leland Lawson, 130 Sydney Brooke Lane, had his $500 H&K .45-caliber handgun and one magazine along with a $1,500 Smith & Wesson AR-15 rifle confiscated during his arrest, according to a police report compiled by Sherwood Police Officer Drew Edwards.
"I confiscated Leland’s Arkansas Concealed Handgun Carry License and mailed it to the Arkansas State Police with a copy of the incident report," Edwards reported.
Edwards responded to the area of East Kiehl in reference to a 911 call of a driver pointing a handgun at another driver.
"Dispatch advised that the 911 caller stated a male driving a black Dodge Dodge Charger pointed a handgun at him after a road rage incident," Edwards said. "Dispatch further advised that the 911 caller stated they were following the black Dodge Charger in their Ford pickup truck."
Edwards said he located both vehicles traveling westbound on East Kiehl and initiated a traffic stop on Lawson’s Charger with emergency lights.
Officers Timothy Norvell and Barry Humphries responded as backup and all three police vehicles performed a felony takedown on the Charger for officer safety. Lawson was placed in handcuffs with no other persons found in his vehicle.
Officers made contact with the other driver, Lonnie Benningfield, 46, of Little Rock, who was driving the Ford pickup. Police reported Lonnie Benningfield had a passenger, King Benningfield, 87, also of Little Rock.
Lonnie and King both told police they were traveling southbound on Highway 67/167.
"Lonnie stated that Leland cut him off on the highway and was driving erratically," Edwards said. "Lonnie stated he had to slow his vehicle due to traffic when Leland was driving behind him at one point," Edwards said. "Lonnie further stated that as he was slowing his vehicle, the front end of Leland’s Dodge Charger struck the rear end of his pickup truck. Lonnie stated that Leland then swerved onto the passenger side of his pickup truck as both vehicles were still traveling southbound on Highway 67/167."
Lonnie Benningfield said Lawson then rolled down the front driver’s side window and pointed a handgun at him and King.
"Lonnie advised officers that he did see the barrel of the handgun and that he feared for his and King’s safety," Edwards said. "Lonnie stated that he then called 911 to advise police of the incident. King’s statement was the same as Lonnie’s."
Police then made contact with Lawson after reading him his Miranda Rights.
"Leland advised me that he wished to speak with me about the incident and make a statement. Leland stated that he was traveling southbound on Highway 67/167 and that the Ford pickup truck cut him off in traffic and traveled southbound in front of him. Leland stated that he was unable to slow his Dodge Charger in time to avoid bumping the rear end of the Ford pickup truck with the front end of his Dodge Charger when the Ford pickup truck slowed down."
Lawson said he then became angry when Lonnie and attempted to pass his truck.
"Leland advised me that he could not pass Lonnie due to traffic and the Ford pickup truck swerving in the lane," Edwards said. "Leland advised me that at one point, he was able to travel parallel to the Ford pickup truck on its passenger side. Leland stated to me that he did roll his front driver’s side window and brandish his handgun at Lonnie and King, but that he did not point the barrel at them. Leland stated that he brandished the handgun at Lonnie and King so that they would leave him alone and not mess with him."
Edwards asked Lawson several questions, such as why did he not slow down behind Lonnie’s truck to avoid any chance of an accident or unnecessary confrontation.
"Leland replied that he wanted to pass the Ford pickup truck to get away from them," according to the report.
Edward then asked why Lawson brandished his firearm, which he replaced Lonnie and King were driving crazy and he didn’t know what they were doing.
Edward also asked why he didn’t call the police and Lawson responded he didn’t know the phone number.
"I also advised Leland that he could not brandish or point a handgun at someone due to road rage or because he was angry with their manner of driving," Edwards said.
Police called a wrecker to tow Lawson’s vehicle.