‘Manic and delusional’ GOP sheriff candidate arrested for terroristic threats, burglary, assault and battery
Robert Kennedy. (Mugshot / composite)

A man running for sheriff in Arkansas' Carroll County is facing charges of terroristic threatening, residential burglary, 2nd-degree battery and two counts of assault on a family member, KNWA reports.

Robert Kennedy is one of five candidates on the Carroll County Sheriff Republican primary ballot.

The 38-year-old man was arrested Monday after multiple agencies were called to respond to a domestic disturbance at his mother's house. One of those called was Kennedy’s brother, Austin Kennedy, an off-duty Carroll County Sheriff’s Deputy, who said that he was told his brother “had made threats of violence toward Sheriff Jim Ross and his wife,” and had posted a video on social media that his mother described as “very bad.”

Austin Kennedy stated that he heard his brother explaining in “an excited tone” that “they were on their way to arrest Sheriff Ross and bring [Robert Kennedy] his badge.”

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Robert Kennedy then allegedly screamed at his mother and sister to give him an AR-15 rifle at the residence, telling them that “the cops were after him” and that he needed the rifle. When Austin Kennedy arrived, he stated that he “attempted multiple times to de-escalate Robert, with no success,” and that “Robert was in a manic and delusional state.”

He eventually convinced his brother to hand over a handgun that was strapped to his thigh.

Robert Kennedy then tried to retrieve the gun, but his brother pepper-sprayed him while “fearing for the safety of everyone.” The first volley of pepper spray reportedly had little effect, so Austin Kennedy pepper sprayed him again. The second volley caused Robert Kennedy to submit and he was placed in handcuffs.

Austin Kennedy wrote in a police affidavit that he is “deathly afraid of what Robert will do in his current mental state,” and that “[Robert Kennedy] has never exhibited violent/mental behavior on this level and to this degree in his whole life.”

Robert Kennedy was given a bond amount of $100,000. The judge ruled that he may be released without posting bond if he agrees to a voluntary commitment “directly to an inpatient hospital or a locked unit.”

Commenting on the incident, retiring Sheriff James Ross said: “Five people vying for the same office all in the same party, I really have nothing to say about that except I hope the one that wins will appreciate what we’re going to leave them.”