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Man dies after confrontation with neighbor in Clinton

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published May 10, 2012 at 1:25 p.m. Updated May 10, 2012 at 1:40 p.m.

— A man died after being knocked to the ground during a confrontation with his neighbor in Clinton, authorities said.

Robert Cole, 53, was pronounced dead Thursday morning at a Little Rock hospital after being airlifted there after the Wednesday afternoon incident.

Cole's injuries initially did not appear serious and he gave a statement to police before being transported to the hospital, where his condition deteriorated and doctors discovered he had a serious brain bleed, police said.

The confrontation between Cole and neighbor Robert Delay occurred shortly before 6 p.m. outside Cole's home on Biroja Street in Clinton.

Cole told authorities Delay's daughter was in his yard "barking at his dogs and getting them stirred up" when he asked her to leave, according to a report from the Clinton Police Department.

Cole told police Delay then came onto his property and pushed him to the ground. He reportedly hit his head on the brick-and-concrete driveway.

According to the report, Delay gave a similar account, saying the physical confrontation occurred after "words were exchanged."

"Delay stated that 'I snapped' and pushed Cole to the ground," police wrote in the report.

Reached by phone Thursday afternoon, Delay said he did not intend to kill Cole. But he said he couldn't answer additional questions before consulting with his attorney.

"I really want to and everything tells me to because I'm not trying to hide anything," Delay said. "What happened was just a real bad deal on both sides. But I'm not supposed to talk to anybody right now."

It wasn't immediately clear if Delay will face charges and, if so, what they will be.

Clinton Police Department Chief Tony Parish said his department was investigating the incident as a misdemeanor before Cole died. When he died, it became a felony case and the investigation was shifted to the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office and Arkansas State Police.

A message left with the sheriff's office wasn't immediately returned.

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jetjohn says... May 10, 2012 at 2:01 p.m.

Why did Delay not confront his daughter??? She was the one that caused this whole incident! Now this man will go to jail. He pushed Mr. Cole to the ground causing a fatal head injury!

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phantagrae says... May 10, 2012 at 2:53 p.m.

It seems like no one can admit that their kid might be misbehaving.
It used to be that if an adult scolded a kid, the parents would probably scold the kid again. Nowadays if you even look askance at a kid who's doing something wrong in public, the parents will get angry with you for daring to disapprove of their child.
Delay should have scolded his daughter for bothering the neighbor's dogs (that's a good way to get bitten!) and then apologized to Cole for the daughter's behavior (and why was she on Mr. Cole's property?)
But because he couldn't deal with the situation calmly and with good manners (even if he thought Cole was wrong to scold his daughter, which I don't think he was, based on the information in this article), he ended up injuring and ultimately killing his neighbor and could possibly go to jail.
Foolishness.

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MYBUDDYTMIL says... May 10, 2012 at 2:58 p.m.

Nice job Delay. I hope your sorry ass rots in jail. POS.

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MenLR2 says... May 10, 2012 at 3:25 p.m.

Seems to be a lot of pushing in Clinton? Didn't another guy die last week that was pushed? And I do have to wonder how long it took to transport Cole to a LR Hospital??? Last guy died waiting to be taken to LR for better care.

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toddm76 says... May 10, 2012 at 3:38 p.m.

As a father, I see other parents blaming teachers, neighbors, ANYONE other than their child. This is unacceptable! Children now EXPECT smart phones, IPODS, Kindle's and anything else they want. I teach my child that all actions have consequences. I also teach my child that life isn't free. If you want electronics and another object, they must be earned. It's time for parents to wake up before it's too late, future generations are at risk!

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JessePinkman says... May 10, 2012 at 3:58 p.m.

What the heck is going on in Clinton? 2 deaths in one week from confrontations that led to mortal injuries? Wow

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GottaMakeIt says... May 10, 2012 at 4:20 p.m.

phantagrae: You are so right about parents who can't admit their child is misbehaving! Not long ago I was in the Kroger store in Levy (part of NLR) and a girl about 12 years old almost ran me over with a grocery cart. She was running outright, pushing the cart down the frozen food aisle with glass doors on both sides of her, looking behind her, and I moved as close to the nearest glass door that I could, and started yelling "Hey! Hey! Hey!" as loud as I could. Her mother was at the end of the aisle (behind me) and she got irate because I yelled at her child. The little girl stopped as soon as she heard me, softly said "Sorry!" and looked wide-eyed-embarrassed. Her mother never offered any apology or indicated what her child did was dangerous. Every time I saw her in the store as I shopped, she gave me dirty looks. Wonder what lesson she taught her child that day??

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roseofcimarron says... May 10, 2012 at 7:24 p.m.

How about an Anger Management Class for everyone that lives there? Couldn't hurt.

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Bless says... May 10, 2012 at 7:31 p.m.

Very sad I love the Delays ... Wow Clinton I think we need to calm down and get off the news praying for all involved:(

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TuckerMax says... May 11, 2012 at 6:18 a.m.

This man got airlifted from Clinton and died. We still want to know why last week's murder victim was not airlifted.

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