Hiwasse, AR — A police officer with the Bentonville Police Department is in hot water this week after he was seen by dozens of witnesses and surveillance cameras hitting a restaurant goer in the face with his gun and threatening to kill him.
Officer Mike Calnan has since been charged with aggravated assault and terroristic threatening — both felonies — for the attack on Jimmy Engleman at a local restaurant.
Calnan retired from the Bentonville police department two years ago, however, he was rehired shortly after and works in an administrative role, according to Sgt. Gene Page, a Bentonville police spokesman.
Page told KXNW that after the incident happened on July 28, Calnan was placed on administrative leave. However, he has since resigned.
According to police, Calnan was charged because multiple witnesses and video surveillance video captured him pulling out his gun and hitting Engleman in the face with it. Calnan then threatened to kill the man.
In the video, Engleman and Calnan appear to have a verbal argument as Engleman stands between Calnan and the exit. Then, without warning, Calnan pulls out his gun and starts to hit Engleman.
As KXNW reports:
A handful of witnesses in the restaurant told police that they heard Calnan threaten to shoot Engleman.
Calnan told police he used to live with Engleman’s ex-wife, adding that back then he felt threatened by Engleman.
Calnan said when Engleman approached him, he pulled out his gun because Engleman started to take a “fighter’s stance” and he was “fearful that a physical confrontation was about to happen,” according to the affidavit.
Engleman told investigators Calnan began pointing his finger at him like it were a gun before Engleman and he got inside the restaurant.
Engleman said once they got a table, Calnan continued to turn around and point his finger at them like it was a gun, according to the affidavit.
Later, in an amended statement, Calnan told investigators Engleman spoke to him prior to the incident in a hallway.
Calnan said Engelman was blocking the exit at the time of the fight, according to the affidavit.
Despite dozens of witnesses telling police that they saw and heard Calnan beat a man in the face with his gun while threatening to kill him, Calnan was never arrested until weeks later.
Police claim it took them the nearly two months to charge Calnan because they had to interview so many witnesses at the restaurant. Apparently the surveillance footage and the immediate witness accounts that were given that same day were not enough evidence to arrest one of their own.
Calnan is set to be arraigned on October 22. He is facing up to six years in prison and $10,000 fine for each of the charges.
Below is the video showing the altercation.