The city of Hot Springs hosted its seventh annual Hot Springs Motorcycle Rally from September 6th through September 8th. An estimated 4,000 bikers converged on the city for the event. Hot Springs National Park was the scene for a motorcycle parade and a 5k run. Rangers were very busy during the three day event, working longer hours and bringing in additional support from Natchez Trace Parkway in order to maximize public safety. During the rally, they responded to the following incidents:
Rangers were called during the morning of the 6th to assist with a double stabbing at a trailer park just outside park boundaries. Upon arrival, they found one murder victim lying in the roadway, suffering from extreme body trauma, and a second severely injured man sitting on the porch of the trailer. He suffered severe lacerations to his stomach to the point that his intestines were exposed. The suspect in the murder was found a short distance away.
On Friday evening, rangers and local police responded to an urgent call of “shots fired” with an “officer down” several blocks from the park. After searching the area and finding no evidence of a shooting, it was determined that the call was a prank.
From Thursday through Sunday morning, rangers made two arrests for public intoxication, three arrests for DUI and one arrest for DUI drugs after a driver was found to driving incoherently through the campground. They also issued 24 citations and 61 warnings and arrested two fugitives from justice.
Rangers investigated four motor vehicle crashes, one of which involved a driver rolling his vehicle over on the Gulpha Gorge Road and another in which a motorcycle slammed into a guardrail at a high rate of speed on the same road.
During the event, a patrol vehicle was carrying patrol bicycles was damaged when it was rear-ended by an inattentive driver.