A standoff with Newton County authorities allegedly involving a 7-year-old child being used as a shield has led to the arrest of 55-year-old Earnest Bischoff of Mill Creek.
Newton County Sheriff Glenn Wheeler says his office began receiving multiple phone calls Wednesday evening about 8 reporting a disturbance in the Mill Creek area. Callers said an unknown male was screaming, threatening to kill an unknown victim and threatening to beat a child. The disturbance could reportedly be heard for quite a distance.
When deputies arrived on scene, they were confronted by Bischoff, who was armed with a recurve hunting bow. Bischoff allegedly threatened to kill law enforcement officers with the bow and a broadhead-tipped arrow, then grabbed his 7-year-old son and using him as a shield, retreated into a house.
Bischoff repeatedly stepped onto the porch, each time threatening to kill law officers while using the child as a shield. He also exited the house with a baseball bat and began beating on parts of his home, causing part of his porch roof to collapse, then retreated back into the house with the child.
Additional law enforcement personnel arrived on scene and about an hour-and-a-half-long standoff ensued. Bischoff was not open to negotiations and repeatedly yelled obscenities and death threats at law enforcement.
Sheriff Wheeler says fearing for the safety of the child, officers made entry into the home where Bischoff was taken into custody, and the child was secured, unharmed, and released to a family member.
Bischoff has been charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, terroristic threatening, endangering the welfare of a minor, possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and being a habitual offender.
Wheeler says, “What could have ended very badly for either law enforcement, Mr. Bischoff or the child, ended relatively peacefully. The child was our biggest concern, but he was reunited with family and he, my deputies and the other law enforcement officers are safe. We consider that a good resolution.”
The Newton County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Jasper Police Department, the 14th Judicial District’s Drug Task Force and North Arkansas Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Medical Services.