PEA RIDGE, Ark. — Pea Ridge tow truck driver Jim Erwin recalls jumping into action to stop the driver who ran over and killed Pea Ridge Officer Kevin Apple, a year ago on June 26, 2021.
"I’m going to tell you is it's wrong,” said Erwin. “It's something no man should ever have to witness."
5NEWS met with Erwin at the location of Officer Apple’s death. He says being back in that parking lot is hard. The images he saw that day, he says he can’t get them out of his head. But he doesn’t regret stepping in to help.
"You don't want to see what I've seen, sir," Erwin said. “It’s something I relive every day and every time we drive by here."
Erwin was driving near Slack and Townsen in Pea Ridge when he saw guns drawn and a car taking off with a person underneath— that person was Officer Apple.
"And they were just driving into the sunset and I just couldn't have that," Erwin said.
He says he hesitated at first, then he got in his car to follow.
"There is nobody to the job,” Erwin said. “Somebody has to make sure those folks didn’t get way. "
He says he chased the suspects from Pea Ridge to Bella Vista. On the phone with police dispatch the entire time.
“People asked me if I was scared, I don't think I had time to think about being scared," said Erwin.
A year later, the community honored Officer Apple by naming a portion of Highway 72 after him. Honoring his badge number 1212 by making that date Officer Apple Day.
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