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Ex-police officer dies in scuffle over hot dog cart, police say

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published April 18, 2014 at 10:44 a.m. Updated April 18, 2014 at 11:55 a.m.

hot-dog-seller-ean-bourdeauxs-cart-is-seen-on-bragg-street-in-little-rock-on-friday-april-18-2014

Hot dog seller Ean Bourdeaux's cart is seen on Bragg Street in Little Rock on Friday, April 18, 2014.

Fired police officer dies in scuffle over hot dog cart

A fired Little Rock officer who was dismissed in 2010 over behavior the police chief called "egregious" died Friday when a hot dog vendor tackled him for purportedly setting fire to his cart. (By Gavin Lesnick)
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A former Little Rock police officer died early Friday of injuries suffered in a scuffle with a man who believed the ex-lawman was trying to destroy his hot dog cart.

Little Rock police Lt. Sidney Allen said hot dog seller Ean Bourdeaux reported about 4 a.m. that someone was attempting to destroy his hot dog cart in the 1500 block of Bragg Street.

The assailant left but returned and tried to damage the cart again, Allen said in an emailed statement, prompting Bourdeaux to confront him.

"The suspect fled on foot and was caught by Bourdeaux within a short distance," Allen wrote. "Details are limited, but while Bordeaux was engaged with suspect, the suspect sustained injuries that later lead to his death at a local hospital."

Allen said the man was later identified as Todd Payne — a former Little Rock police officer who was fired in 2010.

In an interview outside his Bragg Street home, Bourdeaux pointed to his fire-damaged Willy Dog cart and said Payne set it ablaze.

He said Payne had harassed him previously after Bourdeaux wrote about him in an online blog he runs about public corruption.

He said Payne was injured when he tackled him outside the home, causing him to land on his face. Bordeaux said he intended only to hold Payne until police arrived and not to kill him. He added that the fire could have been deadly if he hadn't caught it quickly.

"I had a propane tank right there," Bordeaux said. "It could have easily blown up, and it could have caught my whole house on fire. Four kids sleeping inside."

According to an Oct. 15, 2010, story in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Payne was fired that August after he claimed to be too sick to respond to a January bar fight across from his River Market kiosk.

Chief Stuart Thomas is quoted in that story as saying Payne's inaction that night was a "failure of the essential function of a police officer" and an embarassment to the department.

“I’m almost speechless when I reflect on the significance of the event,” Thomas said.

The same story notes Payne was suspended in 2004 for showing up to work while intoxicated, fired — but later reinstated — in 2005 after a drunken driving arrest and suspended in 2007 over threatening voice mails he was purported to have left with an insurance company.

Comments on: Ex-police officer dies in scuffle over hot dog cart, police say

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Ryan88 says... April 18, 2014 at 1:38 p.m.

That Hot Dog Guy is gross, dirty and crazy. He calls himself chief. This is not the first time someone has done something to him. This house has bullet holes all through the back windows. Time for him to sell his hot dogs in prison!

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Spawn says... April 18, 2014 at 3:51 p.m.

Yea, knock a guy after he is dead. Todd you will be missed my friend. As for this article you can suck my hotdog. Yes Todd liked to prank, but he didn't deserved to be murdered for it.

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RBBrittain says... April 18, 2014 at 4:37 p.m.

You guys think it's OK to burn a hot dog cart just because you don't like what the cart's owner said about you? I don't care if he calls himself "emperor" and stinks up the entire city; from the facts presented it APPEARS to be justifiable homicide. (Reportedly that's how LRPD is proceeding as well, even though the deceased was once one of their own.)

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... April 18, 2014 at 4:50 p.m.

Todd should have had stayed at his own home and prank-ed his own dog.

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paltal says... April 18, 2014 at 4:58 p.m.

Serves him right.

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nwar says... April 18, 2014 at 5:24 p.m.

I read a story like this and think -- my God, where do I live?

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Packman says... April 18, 2014 at 5:29 p.m.

This is only one side of the story. More to come. The hot dog guy may be roasting "weenies" in Cummins very soon.

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K5LJC says... April 18, 2014 at 5:39 p.m.

So- What was this ex-officer doing outside this mans house at 4am? He deserved what he got! The Hot-Dog guy may not have been a saint, but still has the right to protect himself and his family! One less jerk on the streets!

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HogInVirginia says... April 18, 2014 at 5:55 p.m.

Only in Arkansas...

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NutButter says... April 18, 2014 at 9:13 p.m.

No one has the right to destroy the property of others. It is NOT a prank to destroy someone's property. Guess his pranking days are over.

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