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Report: Drunken Saline Co. Sheriff Tried to Punch Police Officer

The report says "the sheriff's speech was very slurred, his eyes were very glassy and watery, and while he was looking at me it appeared he was intoxicated to such a degree that he could not focus his eyes on me."
BENTON, AR -- Officer reports obtained by FOX16 are revealing more information from the incident that led to Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington being charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest.

The reporting officer writes that after approaching the sheriff in his car in front of Denton's Trotline restaurant, he could smell strong odors of alcohol coming from Pennington's breath and car, and observed him staring blankly at his cellphone, which was in his lap.

The report says that at one point during the encounter, "the sheriff's speech was very slurred, his eyes were very glassy and watery, and while he was looking at me it appeared he was intoxicated to such a degree that he could not focus his eyes on me."

Once they took the sheriff's keys, he became agitated, tried to get out of the car to get them back, then pushed an officer, balled up his fists and attempted to strike him with his closed right hand, according to the report.

In a public apology, Sheriff Pennington said he had two drinks at the restaurant after a long day of yard work and never intended to drive home, but the report reads, "Mr. Pennington advised me that he was not drunk and that he would be driving his car home and there was nothing I could do about it."

He faces official charges of public intoxication and resisting arrest.

A special prosecutor, Cody Hiland, has been assigned to the case.

We reached out to Sheriff Bruce Pennington for a response following the new information. He has yet to respond.
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