Incident Involving Police, Solicitors in Maumelle Prompts Push for Rule Change

Ar Local

MAUMELLE, AR — City leaders in Maumelle will consider tightening laws to keep some door-to-door sales people out of their neighborhoods.

The move comes after a tense incident last month between solicitors and Maumelle Police.

“They had their tasers out… pointing at the vehicle telling them to get out,” said Maumelle resident and former Ward Four alderman Brenton Witonski about the incident that happened April 7th just a few doors down from his home on Ozark Drive.

“When [police] finally did get the doors open to the vehicle, they went to take the individuals out and they began basically fighting with the police officers.”

The men were door-to-door solicitors residents worried were casing the neighborhood.

“One resident particularly felt threatened and they called police,” Witonski said.

Maumelle already strictly enforces its current laws regulating door-to-door salesmen, but Mayor Michael Watson says  there’s a loophole.

Right now, anyone soliciting door-to-door in the city must have a permit that, among other things, requires a background check.  But the current law doesn’t apply to people driving the solicitors around.

Mayor Watson says the driver in the case last month on Ozark Drive was from out of state, didn’t have a license and had a criminal record.

An ordinance change being considered during Monday’s city council meeting would make that illegal.

A vote is not expected until a subsequent meeting.

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