Police make 1st arrest in violent crime crackdown

One of nine men who was tagged by the Pine Bluff Police Violent Crime Task Force for special attention in late January was arrested early Wednesday morning after he allegedly hit his girlfriend, resulting in the woman receiving a black eye.

Ben Creggett, 37, who is on parole and whose four previous felony convictions include three for violent crimes, was one of two men who did not attend what police said was a “Call-In meeting” on Jan. 30. The men who did attend were told that police would be watching them, and any recurrence of criminal activity would result in increased prosecution.

As he said he would do during the January meeting, Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter appeared in district court for a probable cause hearing for Creggett on Thursday. Also as he said he would do, Hunter asked for a high bond for Creggett on second offense third-degree domestic battery, a Class D Felony.

According to the probable-cause affidavit from Detective Steve Rucker of the Pine Bluff Police Department, police were sent to a house in the 3400 block of Iris Street at 2 a.m. A woman there said she and Creggett “got into a fight over one of his babies’ mommas.”

Creggett allegedly punched the woman in the left eye. Police took photos of the woman’s injuries, ccording to a report from Sgt. Rick Bunting.

Bunting also reported that when he ran Creggett’s name through the computer database, he was told that Creggett was on the Pine Bluff Police Department’s Violent Crime Task Force list, and also that Creggett had been convicted of misdemeanor domestic battery in 2010.

“The system worked like it was supposed to,” Lt. David Price said Thursday. “His name was flagged and when he was arrested, it came up that he was on the list and the prosecutor was advised.”

Also according to the report, Creggett was uncooperative when he arrived at the jail where he became loud and allegedly threatened Bunting and Officer Nathan Smith several times during the paperwork process.

At Hunter’s request, Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney set a $25,000 cash=only bond for Creggett, and also ordered him to have no contact with the alleged victim until the case is settled.

Hunter said Creggett is listed as a parole absconder and Kearney read that warrant to Creggett at the same hearing.

Because of the absconder warrant, Creggett will not be able to post a bond until a hearing to determine whether he violated the conditions of his parole and whether any violation was serious enough to warrant Creggett being sent back to prison to complete the rest of his sentence.