Call for ambulance leads to gun arrest

Pine Bluff police responding to a call to assist Emergency Ambulance Service personnel Wednesday arrested a man who is a convicted felon after finding a gun in his pocket.

During a court hearing Thursday, Deputy Prosecutor Bryan Achorn said Andrew Smith, 25, called 9-1-1 to report that he had not taken his medication and was having “homicidal and suicidal thoughts.”

When the ambulance arrived at Smith’s location at 27th Avenue and Spruce Street, police also arrived to assist. During a pat down for officer safety, they found a .22-caliber handgun in Smith’s right front pocket, Detective Steve Rucker said in a probable cause affidavit.

Achorn said Smith was taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center for a mental evaluation, then to the adult detention center after officers confirmed that Smith had previously been convicted of a felony in 2007.

Rucker said in the affidavit that when Smith was interviewed, he said he found the gun in the Central Park area on March 15 and was keeping it for “self protection.” Smith also allegedly told police he “knew he wasn’t supposed to have the gun.”

Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney set a $15,000 bond for Smith after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge him with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Smith said he would hire his own attorney and was told to come back to court May 2.