Eureka traffic cop arrested, terminated
EUREKA SPRINGS -- The Police Department has ended the employment of Traffic Control Officer Angelo Yao after he was arrested and charged with multiple domestic abuse charges and public intoxication on Sunday, March 16.
"Even though he is not a police officer, he still represents the police department of the city," said Police Chief Earl Hyatt. "It is unfortunate, but when somebody commits an act like domestic violence, it is not tolerable."
Yao was charged with third-degree assault on family or household member, public intoxication, first-degree criminal mischief, two counts of third-degree battery and endangering the welfare of a minor.
"Everybody loved him," Hyatt explained. "It was a surprise to us, that is for sure. ... I feel bad for the victim in this case. It happened, and we can't take it back."
Eureka Springs police and deputies from the Carroll County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the scene of the incident at approximately 1 a.m. Sunday morning, after the victim reported that Yao was intoxicated and on his way to her home. She also aid that she feared for the her and her child's safety, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
When Deputy Shaun Helmlinger arrived the city police had already detained Yao, and in his report, Helmlinger noted that he had blood shot eyes and smelled of intoxicants. Yao stated to the deputy that he had come to work things out and did not hurt anyone, contrary to statements from the victims.
The affidavit states that Yao broke into the back door and grabbed one of the victims by the throat and bit her lip. He then put both victims in "headlocks" and slammed them into the wall, breaking a piece of sheet rock. One of the victims was then able to get Yao out of the house before he was able to attack again.
One of the victims also stated, in the affidavit, that this has been an ongoing problem and she was afraid to report it because Yao was employed with the city police, and she did not think anything would be done about it.
Hyatt later said that he and his agency would not try to protect Yao, and he noted that it was the city police who arrived first and got control of the situation by detaining him.