Benton Lawmaker on Salt Bowl Scare Suspects: “They are a Stench in our Community”

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SALINE COUNTY, Ark. — An Arkansas lawmaker who represents part of Saline County in the state house is calling the people responsible for Saturday night’s safety scare at the Salt Bowl a “stench in our community.”

Rep. Kim Hammer took to Facebook to share his thoughts on what occurred. KARK.com has decided to publish his comments in full:

There are many things that I would like to say about the unfortunate event that occurred at the Saline County Salt Bowl. I will keep most of my thoughts in check while my emotions calm down lest I say something I might later regret.

It is a difficult thing to see parents in a state of panic while they try to locate their children in the midst of chaos, be on the opposite side of the stadium separated from your family while you just stay still letting the authorities get everything under control (a special thanks to Mike Wickline for not leaving my wife and grandson until he knew everything was alright and that they would be alright), or holding your granddaughter while she cries asking repeatedly “is everything going to be ok” (a special thanks to the Lt. with the Bryant Police officer who came by twice to reassure my granddaughter that everything was going to be alright), watching other children cry and seeing their parents hug them and console them while seeing the anger burn in their expression toward those who caused this situation, or hearing the emotions in the voices of teachers and school officials who are not at peace until they have accounted for those students under their care.

Tonight 38,000 law abiding fans of Saline County gathered as a community to enjoy a night of time honored tradition. One, or a few, dishonored those 38,000 law abiding fans by their lawless actions. They are a stench in our community.

In time the investigation will show who is responsible for causing a great night of community spirit to be blemished. Facts will be separated from speculation. When the investigation is complete, and charges are filed, then those who have brought reproach on our community will have pay.

I have no doubt that our law enforcement community, working in conjunction with school officials and prosecutors, will seek to hold accountable to the fullest extent of the law those responsible for Saturday night’s senseless and reckless actions that threatened the life and welfare of 38,000 fans.

Their actions will not define who we are as a community for we are above that.

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