Brenda Davis is a 57-year-old paraplegic and registered nurse from North Little Rock who has to use a wheelchair to get around.
Davis said in an interview Tuesday that her condition forces her to lead an unusual but active life, and it was completely normal for her on March 9 to be at the McCain Mall by herself to buy a baby gift.
She’s used to travelling around in a wheelchair on her own, Davis said, though she isn’t used to being robbed of her purse in broad daylight; nor did she expect to find the grown-up version of a boy she knew from church decades ago, now just a few feet away in the mall parking lot after the incident.
“Ben Majors must be my angel, or the work of God in some way,” Davis said of the man who is now a full-time senior police officer with the University of Central Arkansas Police Department.
Majors, who according to Davis was dropping his wife off at the mall, told witnesses to call 9-1-1, and his actions that day helped officers with North Little Rock Police Department catch the two alleged robbers.
Davis had gotten out of her van and put up her handicap ramp, and as she started toward the mall entrance she realized she’d left her cell phone inside her van.
“I did NOT see anyone but a couple pulling in to park one car down from me,” Davis wrote in an appreciation letter to UCAPD. “I went to the back of my van to wait for them to get out so I could ask them to get my phone out of the car. I turned my wheelchair around to check to see if I had my passenger door unlocked so one of them could get my phone.
“As I turned my wheelchair around, an arm came over my right shoulder and grabbed my purse. A struggle ensued and I was pulled out of my chair and fell face-first on the pavement.”
Within 45 seconds of the purse-snatching, Majors appeared in street clothes, and he recognized the woman whose family has known his from decades at Sylvan Hills Church of Christ, as well as numerous haircuts and sporting events, Davis said:
“Ben said, ‘Mrs. Brenda, it’s Benji Majors. I’m here and you are going to be OK,’” before telling a bystander to call 9-1-1.
“I told him that I knew there were witnesses,” Davis wrote in her letter to UCAPD Chief Larry James. “Some were going to just go on into the mall and not get involved. (Majors) instructed everyone that he was a police officer and he was ordering them to stay and give their statements to the NLRPD. He called my husband and notified him as the mall security leaned up against my van and gawked. By the time NLRPD got there, Ben identified himself and the witnesses, and a ‘BOLO’ was immediately issued.”
Davis said Tuesday that the witnesses Majors helped retain for NLRPD remembered the license plate numbers on a vehicle allegedly carrying Frederick Johnson and Harold Covert, who are both charged in Pulaski County with robbery and theft by receiving Davis’ purse and its contents.
Majors, though off-duty before the incident, was empowered by Ark. Code Annotated 25-17-305, a law passed in 2007 which allows “institutional law enforcement officers” such as campus police statewide jurisdiction when traveling with athletic teams, investigating crimes or in Majors’ case, when assisting other law enforcement agencies.
Lieutenant Rhonda Swindle of UCAPD said Tuesday that UCA officers aren’t normally encouraged to exercise the powers of A.C.A. 25-17-305 while off-duty, though in Majors’ circumstance on March 9, “I think most people would’ve at least helped as a citizen in the case he was put in. Don’t you?”
Swindle said Majors didn’t witness the crime or investigate in any way other than giving his orders to actual witnesses to tell NLRPD officers what they saw.
“But had it happened in front of him, he could have (stepped in),” Swindle said.
“We try not to step out of our jurisdiction unless it’s something unusual like that,” Swindle added. “If it’s in Conway, say, and we make an arrest in Conway (off campus), we’re going to immediately call the Conway Police Department and say, ‘Hey, we have this going on. Would you like to assist?’”
Though police were successful in apprehending the alleged robbers, unfortunately for Davis the incident of March 9 left her with a torn rotator cuff, a fractured nose and several sprains. Majors, however, never left her side during the ordeal.
“Ben drove my son’s car to the (emergency room) so my son could drive my van to the ER,” Davis said. “I could go on and on as to what all Ben did for me … and I would love to honor him in some way, or let others know what all he has done.”
Majors said Tuesday the robbery “was probably one of the most disheartening incidents” he’s ever experienced, and that when he thinks about it, tears come to his eyes.
“Every time I think about this, man: To know that people actually were walking away till I got out to help her,” said Majors, who was at the parking lot with his 2-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter.
“The good Lord put me there at the perfect time,” Majors said. “It’s so unfortunate that it happened, but if it had’ve happened three seconds earlier than it did, we would’ve caught (the alleged robbers) in the act and my kids would’ve had to see something go down that could’ve been bad for me or the guys that did it, or it could’ve put my kids in danger also.”
Majors said, “I would’ve done this for anybody though, and I mean for anybody. It wouldn’t have mattered who it was, handicapped or not. That’s what you do as a human being. Not because you’re a police officer, but you just do that as a person.”
JOIN OUR NEW SOCIAL NETWORK…….www.privateofficer.com
On Sale NOW!
PROTECT YOURSELF!-Tasers, Pepper Spray, Stun Guns
SECURITY BADGES, ID CARDS, EQUIPMENT—www.privateofficer.com
GET PAID TO SHOP!~ MAKE MONEY FROM HOME!~~~REALLY! CHECK IT OUT!
FREE TO SIGN UP AND FREE TO USE!