SEARCY, AR – It’s not a call Searcy police are used to getting.
“You don’t hear about it in Arkansas, let alone Searcy, Arkansas,” Searcy Police Sgt Steve Hernandez said.
Police say White County District Judge Mark Derrick was mauled by his father’s pet zebra Sunday evening. He first went to White County Medical Center then transferred to UAMS. The District Judge’s office says Derrick suffered injuries to his eye and arm. Cops say it happened in the middle of Searcy off Skyline Drive.
“It’s a rare call for us,” Hernandez said.
Police say owning exotic animals isn’t something new for Derrick’s dad.
“His father has raised animals like this for years,” Hernandez said.
KARK tried to contact the family, but no one answered the door. However, a zebra was spotted next to the house.
Ruby Moye has lived behind the Derrick farm for years. “I’m so sorry he’s that bad,” Moye said.
She says the father, who she calls Martin, owns 40 acres of land where the animals roam. What she’s seen in her backyard is more like a zoo.
“There are camels, the zebra, the buffalo,” Moye said, “it’s unusual not to be able to see a lot of them out there.”
Her own grandchildren have gotten an up close and personal look at a zebra on the property.
“When the zebra was there they would go over the fence and feed him,” Moye said.
But why the zebra attacked, no one may ever know.
“They’ve had experience and they’ve had the knowledge of what to do with these animals, but of course they’re animals,” Hernandez said.
“He’s a nice man, he has children, a wife, I just hope he gets better,” Moye said.
Police are no longer investigating the zebra attack. They say if Judge Derrick did want to press changes on his father, who owned the zebra, then they would open the case back up. However, they don’t expect that to happen.