Tim Vahsholtz doesn’t see any resemblance between himself and escaped convict Timothy Buffington, other than the fact that they are both follically challenged; however, this didn’t stop someone from calling in a tip that a convict was enjoying a late evening drink in the River Market.
Vahsholtz, a North Little Rock man, had to deal with a case of mistaken identity as he sat in Bosco’s bar in the River Market district last Thursday night. After sitting for a couple hours with a friend from out of town, Vahsholtz was approached by three Little Rock police officers who said they had gotten a tip that a convict who escaped from a Pine Bluff correction facility in June might be enjoying a drink there.
“I pointed to another guy in the bar, and said, ‘He doesn’t have any hair either,’” Vahsholtz said. “They laughed and said, ‘We’re going to check him next.’”
Vahsholtz showed the officers his identification and said they were good sports, though they did point out that Vahsholtz and Buffington had the same first name.
Vahsholtz even managed to capture a selfie with the officers.
Still, Vahsholtz didn’t think it was funny for very long. He was at first upset anyone thought it might be logical that an escaped convict would be sitting at a bar across the street from a police station. He was also indignant at being profiled.
“I mean, really, that is what happened,” Vahsholtz said.
Department of Correction spokesman Shea Wilson said the department has received a number of phone calls from across the state and some from Mississippi regarding the escaped convict.
“We check out every tip we can, checking surveillance videos in some cases,” Wilson said.
The number of tips has declined some over the past few weeks, and Wilson said they are hoping the $4,000 award for information leading to Buffington’s capture will help bring up the numbers.
Buffington is 5 feet 6 inches and about 182 pounds, with a scar on his upper left arm and his right wrist, police have said. Anyone with information regarding Buffington can call (870) 267-6421.