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story.lead_photo.caption At left, Ralph Breshears is shown in a mug shot taken at the Pulaski County jail. The photo at right shows shoplifting and robbery suspect Rudy Avila being taken into an ambulance after being shot in west Little Rock on July 19.

A former Little Rock Police Department officer was found not guilty of a misdemeanor battery charge in the shooting of a man last summer outside a Chick-fil-A, court officials said.

Pulaski County District Judge Wayne Gruber made the ruling Friday following last month's trial for 56-year-old Ralph Breshears, traffic criminal supervisor Stacey Tan said.

"Judge Gruber was very thoughtful and considerate in arriving at a conclusion in a difficult and complicated case, and we're grateful for the result," Breshears' attorney, Blake Hendrix, said.

Breshears, who retired last year from the agency, shot and wounded Rudy Avila outside a Chick-fil-A in west Little Rock on July 19, 2017. Police said Avila, now 24, was a shoplifting suspect who fled police custody, then forced a woman from her vehicle and tried to drive away.

Breshears shot Avila several times in the arm, and the man was treated in a hospital for five days before he was booked into the jail. He pleaded guilty to robbery and felony theft in April in exchange for a 15-year sentence, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette previously reported.

A review of the shooting led prosecutors to charge Breshears with misdemeanor battery in January after determining that he had been negligent and put the car owner in harm's way when he opened fire.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter John Lynch contributed to this story.


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  • Inquirer51
    October 19, 2018 at 12:20 p.m.

    Mr. Brashears deserves a medal, not prosecution. It was an absolute waste of taxpayer's money to prosecute this man.

  • Cockeyedview
    October 19, 2018 at 12:32 p.m.

    I know this police officer. Good man. He has shot others that needed shooting and didn’t shoot a lot of others that needed shooting.

  • JJoutlaw
    October 19, 2018 at 12:40 p.m.

    If he had hit the car owner then charge him. Otherwise give him a medal for getting this punk off the streets. A waste of taxpayer money. PC has run amok AGAIN!

  • LRDawg
    October 19, 2018 at 12:40 p.m.

    Good thing this wreckless a$$hole (Mr. Breshears) didn't shoot an innocent bystander or the carjacking victim. He should be punished for his wreckless behavior. If he wasn't white, he'd be jailed and fined

  • GeneralMac
    October 19, 2018 at 12:53 p.m.

    LRDAWG reminds me of Clarke Tucker.

    Seems both need a lot of " what ifs"..."but"......"however"

  • SeriouslyFolks
    October 19, 2018 at 1:42 p.m.

    Good! He should never even have been questioned for his actions.

  • Packman
    October 19, 2018 at 2:08 p.m.

    Whoever decided to prosecute this is an f’ing idiot.

  • Delta2
    October 19, 2018 at 2:16 p.m.

    That's just the point LRDAWG, he DIDN'T shoot an innocent bystander or the carjacking victim, he shot the crook. He did his job well. And notice the crook is white too, since you want to make it about race for some reason.

  • LRDawg
    October 19, 2018 at 3:26 p.m.

    I don't want vigilantes shooting around me and my family.....i happen to like my life. Avila wasn't armed, he didn't shoot anyone. Grand theft auto and shoplifting aren't punishable by death. Although the perp wasn't killed that was Mr. Breashears intent. "If's" and "but's" are necessary when discussing gun violence....Bullets don't have names on them. This vigilante should of been punished. And yes Delta...if he was black, he would be jailed and fined for unauthorized discharge in a public setting

  • Jfish
    October 19, 2018 at 4:29 p.m.

    Agree with others, a total waste of taxpayer money, give this guy a medal. Hey Dawg, a stolen car can be much more deadly than a gun, good to see this guy prevail just like Josh Hastings a couple of years ago. Play the race card all you want, but most white people would be commending a black officer in this situation also.