SALEM — A woman’s sexual assault allegation involving Tyronza’s new police chief is being investigated by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.
Edward “E.J.” Roach, 30, of Marked Tree, was recently hired as chief in Tyronza after his predecessor Tony Postell resigned. Postell, 35, of Trumann, left the Poinsett County post following his April 11 arrest on suspicion of domestic battery.
In Postell’s case, a female household member alleged that he hit her in the face, broke her tooth and “put a knot on her head,” according to previous Sun reporting. The former chief’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 8 in Trumann District Court.
The allegation involving Roach surrounds an incident that occurred at a campground near the Spring River, Fulton County Sheriff Al Roork said Thursday. Roork said his office was called Saturday night.
“This victim showed up in the emergency room in Highland and, of course, that’s not in our jurisdiction. Sharp County officers were called because of allegations of a sexual assault. They were going to through a rape kit and stuff like that,” he said.
Deputies in Fulton County started investigating the allegation immediately, Roork said. Roach was subsequently booked into jail and released.
Details of the victim’s allegation against Roach were unavailable because two deputies were still working on the incident report, Roork said. His Salem-based office is taking its investigation very seriously, he said.
“These are allegations that have been made on this man. The fact that he’s a police chief doesn’t mean anything to me,” he said. “If he did this, we’re going to go after him with everything we’ve got. … This involves people’s lives forever, and we sure want to be right.”
Charges had not been filed against Roach in Fulton County as of Thursday afternoon, Roork said. If the investigation uncovers forcible compulsion in the incident, Roach could be charged with rape, a Class Y felony, he said.
Roach’s employment status with the Tyronza Police Department is unclear, as efforts to reach Mayor Charles Glover were unsuccessful. Arkansas Municipal League’s online government portal shows that Roach recently served as the Tyronza fire chief.
The Tyronza police force employed one full-time officer and several part-time patrolmen before Roach’s tenure started, Glover previously told The Sun.
According to previous reporting, Roach was awarded a life-saving award in August 2017 for rescuing a child and his mother from an overturned car in Marked Tree. He was a sheriff’s deputy in Poinsett County at the time.