An El Dorado man faces several felony charges for allegedly stealing a car from his employer and seriously injuring a pedestrian after crashing into the El Dorado News-Times building.
Bond was set at $10,000 for 24-year-old Kenneth M. Parker when he appeared earlier this week in 35th Judicial District Court on charges of first-degree battery, theft of property and first-degree criminal mischief.
Parker was also cited for DWI and careless and prohibited operations in connection to the incidents, which were reported Nov. 25 and Nov. 26.
Police said Cody Odom, 35, also of El Dorado, sustained “incapacitating” injuries in the accident and was transported to Medical Center of South Arkansas for treatment.
Officers responded just before 2 a.m. Nov. 25 to a report of an accident at the News-Times, 111 N. Madison.
Police said Parker was traveling west on East Main when he veered off the road and drove onto the loading dock on the east (rear) side of the News-Times office building.
Parker slammed into the building but continued north along the loading dock, where he struck Odom, who told police he was walking along Main Street when the accident occurred.
Odom had several visible injuries, police said.
The impact caused structural damage to the exterior and interior of the building and strew debris along the back side of the building.
Parker was treated and released from MSCA for non-life-threatening injuries.
Police said Parker was driving a white, 2014 BMW and they later learned the car was owned by Billy Wood Honda, 1909 W. Hillsboro.
The car was totaled, police said, noting damage to the front end, driver’s side tire, hood and windshield.
The following day, police were called to Billy Wood in reference to a vehicle theft.
The chief executive officer reported that Parker, a sales representative for the dealership at the time, had taken the BMW without authorization.
Parker took the keys to the car while at work, returned after hours Nov. 24 and took the car, the complainant said.
Other employees who arrived at the business Nov. 24 noticed the BMW was missing and that Parker’s personal vehicle was parked in the employee parking area.
An employee told police she sent Parker a text message inquiring about the BMW, and he responded by saying “that he was in the hospital and he had messed up.”
Parker did not provide further details, the employee said.
When Parker failed to show for work Nov. 26, employees said they contacted him and he again said that he was in the hospital.
A warrant was subsequently issued for Parker’s arrest and he turned himself in to police at 8:30 a.m. Monday, along with his attorney Matt Thomas.
Parker made his first appearance in district court later that day and was issued a cash or corporate surety bond. Per the conditions of his bond, Parker is to abide by a daily curfew of 5 p.m. until 7 a.m.
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at tlyons@ eldoradonews.com.