BATESVILLE, Ark.– A fun game became a serious situation at a central Arkansas police department.
Officers found a rock shaped like gun with the word “bang” painted on at the Batesville Police Department around 2a.m. Friday.
There’s a Facebook group called “BatesvilleARrocks” that nearly 1700 people like. People described the game as someone paints a rock then hides the rock in town. When someone find the rock that person can hide the rock somewhere else or keep the rock as a memory.
Maygan Boss and her family said they find rocks in unusual shapes and then use their imaginations to decide how to paint the rock.
One rock Maygan’s 11-year-old son Braydin painted looked like a gun so she said he painted it like a gun. She said they hide it in town last week and overnight another kid and her mother dropped off the rock at the police department.
Batesville police chief Alan Cockrill said, “I mean you can’t take a chance that nothing bad is going to happen in small-town America.”
Chief Cockrill’s gun sat next to the unique rock that Braydin painted.
11-year-old Braydin showed us his collection of rocks.
He described his favorite rock.
He said he painted it like a skull.
Braydin described it, “It’s a perfect size and it can sit up.”
His mother said his family learned about the game a few weeks ago on vacation and decided to bring it back to their home of Batesville, Arkansas.
The chief met the family and asked Braydin, “Did you paint my rock?”
The child replied yes and everyone laughed.
Maygan said, “He’s 11 and he’s a little boy. He’s fascinated with guns.”
Everyone can smile and laugh now but it was anything but funny for Batesville officers early Friday morning.
Chief Cockrill said, “We took it as a threat because it appeared in the dark to be a gun and it says bang on it.”
He showed us where an officer found the painted rock around 2a.m. out of view from surveillance cameras.
Maygan said, “It’s been through about four different kids and ended up here.”
The chief said, “What they (the people who put the rock in front of the department) didn’t think was the number of police of been ambushed across United States in the past two years.”
It is an innocent game during a senisitive time.
Chief said, “It’s not the Andy Griffith type law enforcement. You know everybody’s on their toes.”
Recent tragedies have hit close to home for officers in Arkansas.
“You know we lost a very good friend in Newport the 12th of last month., that we were all buddies with,” the Batesville chief said.
So the chief wants to make sure people remember that, as he places the “evidence” with a new different painting from Braydin.
” I put it over here in this display case where everyone can see it”
He says he just wants people to be safe… when they have fun playing this popular game.