Newton County man uses 7-year-old as shield in standoff with police

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NEWTON COUNTY, Ark. (News release) — Local police received multiple calls about a disturbance around 8 p.m. Wednesday evening in the Mill Creek area.

Multiple people were calling saying an unknown man was screaming, threatening to kill an unknown victim and threatening to beat a child.

When deputies arrived, they were confronted by Earnest Bischoff, 55 of Mill Creek, who was armed with a recurve hunting bow. Bischoff threatened to kill Law Enforcement Officers with the bow and a broadhead-tipped arrow, then grabbed his 7-year-old son and used him as a shield and retreated into a house.

Bischoff repeatedly stepped onto the porch, threatening to kill the Law Enforcement, each time using the child as a shield. He also exited the house with a baseball bat and began beating on parts of his home, causing part of his porch roof to collapse, then retreated back into the house with the child. More Law Enforcement personnel arrived on scene and an approximately hour and a half long standoff ensued. Bischoff was not open to negotiations and repeatedly yelled obscenities and death threats at Law Enforcement.

Fearing for the safety of the child, Law Enforcement Officers made entry into the home where Bischoff was taken into custody and the child was secured, unharmed. The child was turned over to a family member.

Bischoff was charged with Kidnapping, Aggravated Assault, Terroristic Threatening, Endangering the Welfare of a Minor, Resisting Arrest, Disorderly Conduct and being a Habitual Offender. He was transported to the Newton County Jail.

“What could have ended very badly for either Law Enforcement, Mr. Bischoff or the child, ended relatively peacefully,” said Sheriff Wheeler, “the child was our biggest concern, but he was reunited with family and he, my deputies and the other Law Enforcement officers are safe. We consider that a good resolution.”

The Newton County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Jasper Police Department, the 14th Judicial District’s Drug Task Force and North Arkansas Regional Medical Center’s E.M.S.

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