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Charge filed against ex-Little Rock officer who shot, injured suspected carjacker

By Rachel Herzog , Jillian Kremer

This article was originally published January 22, 2018 at 4:38 p.m. Updated January 22, 2018 at 5:11 p.m.

rudy-avila-22-left-was-shot-by-officer-ralph-breshears-right-on-wednesday-july-19-2017-in-west-little-rock-police-said

Rudy Avila, 22, left, was shot by officer Ralph Breshears, right, on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in west Little Rock, police said.

A third-degree battery charge has been filed against a former Little Rock officer who shot and injured a man suspected of shoplifting and robbing a woman of her car, police said Monday.

Rudy Avila, 2̶2̶ 23*, of Little Rock was a suspect in a shoplifting at the Home Depot at 12610 Chenal Parkway when he escaped from officers' custody July 19, authorities previously said. He is accused of then fleeing by foot across the store's parking lot to a nearby Chick-Fil-A's drive-thru and carjacking a vehicle from a woman.

When Avila tried to drive away from the scene, officer Ralph Breshears fired, hitting the 2̶2̶-̶y̶e̶a̶r̶-̶o̶l̶d̶ 23-year-old*, according to the Monday news release. A witness reportedly used a vehicle to block his escape.

Avila was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

When the department completed its investigation, it sent the case file to the Pulaski County prosecuting attorney's office, which determined Breshears was "negligent" in his actions, police said.

A call to the Pulaski County prosecuting attorney's office was not returned Monday afternoon.

Officers were trying to serve a warrant for Breshears' arrest Monday evening. The department said he retired in December.

Breshears was a 26-year veteran of the department, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette previously reported. The July shooting of Avila was at least the third in his career.

He was a narcotics detective in 1997 when he and another officer, Todd Hurd, fatally shot two armed men while executing a search-and-seizure warrant at a house on South Schiller Street. Police identified the men killed as Patrick Harris, 33, and Gary McFadden, 30.

Prosecutors cleared Breshears and Hurd of any wrongdoing in the killings.

In 1995, Breshears fired shots when a drug raid at an apartment on Butler Road turned into a gunfight. He did not hit anyone nor was he injured. But officer Joseph Tucker Fisher, 34, was killed in the shootout. Another officer, Frederick Lee, 26, was shot in the head and critically injured.

Willie Leon Green, then 22 years old, was convicted of first-degree murder in the case and sentenced to life in prison.

Avila was r̶e̶l̶e̶a̶s̶e̶d̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶m̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶P̶u̶l̶a̶s̶k̶i̶ ̶C̶o̶u̶n̶t̶y̶ ̶j̶a̶i̶l̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶a̶ ̶$̶5̶0̶0̶,̶0̶0̶0̶ ̶b̶o̶n̶d̶ ̶T̶h̶u̶r̶s̶d̶a̶y̶,̶ ̶o̶f̶f̶i̶c̶i̶a̶l̶s̶ ̶s̶a̶i̶d̶.̶ in the custody of the Arkansas Department of Correction as of Monday afternoon.* He was originally charged with criminal attempt, third-degree escape, fleeing, robbery and property theft.

*CORRECTION: Rudy Avila, a 23-year-old suspect in a shoplifting and robbery who was shot by a police officer in 2017, remains in the custody of the Arkansas Department of Correction. An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported his incarceration status and also included the wrong age.

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Comments on: Charge filed against ex-Little Rock officer who shot, injured suspected carjacker

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trickyone01 says... January 22, 2018 at 5:10 p.m.

Headline should read: Prepare For 7 More WLR Carjackings Over Next 6 weeks.

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ZeebronZ says... January 22, 2018 at 5:16 p.m.

Hoe'd that creep make $500,000 bail?

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AuntPetunia says... January 22, 2018 at 5:20 p.m.

I wonder if the witness who blocked the carjacker’s escape will be charged with failure to yield? That would make as much sense.

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Lilbitofsanity says... January 22, 2018 at 5:39 p.m.

I'm sure his family or their attorney have looked into filing charges against the driver who blocked him from escaping. After this announcement they will also be free to file charges against the officer and the police department. He got caught shop lifting, escaped from police, ripped a woman out of her car and drove off. Anyone in this state of mind wouldn't hesitate running over a child or grown up in the way of his escape. What in the world would lead a prosecutor to determine the officer was negligent. Negligent of what? Not shooting to kill??? What is wrong with this picture????

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gohog2018 says... January 22, 2018 at 5:45 p.m.

He probably got bail from the Mexican consulate. Can police not do their job anymore?

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LR1955 says... January 22, 2018 at 5:47 p.m.

Did the perp use a weapon during the car jacking I wonder?
If so, does this mean an armed citizen can’t defend themselves from a car jacking unless the perp is armed ?

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Iraqvet07 says... January 22, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.

The carjack victim should have had her CHCL and saved the taxpayers and the Justice system alot of time.

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Longhaul says... January 22, 2018 at 7:01 p.m.

Unless I missread something, why would charges be filed against a cop for doing his duty and stopping a thug. Something is wrong here.

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HogJockey says... January 22, 2018 at 7:46 p.m.

I'm pretty sure Breshears is retired.

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drs01 says... January 22, 2018 at 8:25 p.m.

Just make sure his trial (if they are stupid enough to have one) doesn't go to W. Griffith. He's a racist when it comes to white people. This is a waste of resources to even charge this retired officer.
If you wonder why Little Rock is a candidate for "sh**hole city of the year" just watch this case unfold.

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