Benton assault cases rise in first half of 2014

The Benton Police Department has responded to more assault incidents so far this year in comparison with the same period last year.

From January to June of 2014, the department responded to 41 assault incidents, an increase of 32.26 percent as compared to the same period in 2013.

In May, the department responded to eight incidents and in June the department responded to nine incidents.

"We typically see a slight uptick in (assaults) in summer months," said Lt. Kevin Russell, Benton Police Department spokesperson.

Most of these incidents occurred between acquaintances at private residences, he said.

"Officers and detectives are aggressively investigating these types of incidents to ensure that those responsible are held accountable," Russell said. "We also depend on the public to help provide information about these types of crimes, so that we can arrest the responsible parties."

The department has also seen an increase of violent crimes in general and property crimes.

The number of violent crimes has increased by 59.46 percent and property crimes has only increased by 1.73 percent.

The Saline County Sheriff's Office has responded to 52 assault incidents since January of 2014. Last year, the agency responded to a total of 105 assaults, said Lt. Scott Courtney, Saline County Sheriff's Office spokesperson. He predicts the office will have about the same number of incidents this year.

A representative from the Bryant Police Department could not be contacted by press time to learn how their reports stand in comparison.

Statistics for the Benton Police Department are published monthly on the department's website.