Spittin' for distance
Zach Oswalt, of Forrest City, launches a watermelon seed into the air during a seed-spitting contest Saturday afternoon during the St. Francis County Fair, held at the Wiley T. Jones Fairgrounds. Oswalt won the contest with a launch of more than 18 feet to beat out 10 other seed spitters. Photo by Fred Conley.
A 2-year-old Forrest City boy was airlifted to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Saturday evening after he was kicked in the head by a horse in Widener.
According to a report on file at the St. Francis County Sheriff’s Department, as the boy was being taken to the hospital, his father allegedly went to where the horse was being kept and shot the one-year-old animal several times.
Deputies were called to the home of Christy Utley, 242 West Main, in Widener, about 5 p.m., Saturday. She is the grandmother of Lane Utley, age 2, of Forrest City, who was visiting her. Deputies found Lane Utley inside his grandmother’s home with blood on the back of his head from a three-inch cut.
Witnesses told officers the horse belonged to Jerome Brown, 38, 927 Driftwood, Forrest City, and had kicked the toddler in the head. Officials with the SFCSD said the horse was running free across Christy Utley’s property. Brown owns the property next door to Christy Utley, deputies said.
Medical personnel transported the boy by ambulance to the Air Evac helipad to be airlifted to Le Bonheur. Deputies and the boy’s mother left with the ambulance at that time.
According to officials with the SFCSD, later in the evening, a witness contacted deputies, saying the father of the toddler, who is a 15-year-old minor, shot the horse several times. Deputies returned to Widener and found the horse with several gunshot wounds that had not been there when the deputies left with the ambulance. Brown told deputies he would have the animal examined by a veterinarian.
The report also shows that Lane Utley was in stable condition on Sunday, and a call seeking an update on his condition this morning was not returned before press time.
No charges had been filed as of this morning, and the condition of the horse was not available.