Hearnsberger arrested in hit-and-run incident involving LR officer

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A $15,000 bond has been set for former Blytheville pastor and ANC Choir Director Dr. Keith Hearnsberger, who surrendered Monday afternoon to Little Rock police in connection with a hit-and-run that left a police lieutenant in serious condition early Sunday morning.

Hearnsberger has been charged with two counts of battery, failure to stop after an accident involving injury and one count of reckless driving in connection with an incident that occurred around 1 a.m. Sunday.

He allegedly struck Lt. Johnny Gilbert in the 1100 block of Daisy Bates in Little Rock. Bates was off duty and working security for an event at that location. Gilbert was escorting Daryl Johnson, whom he had just arrested for alleged disorderly conduct, when both men were allegedly struck by Hearnsberger’s automobile. Gilbert suffered serious injuries and Johnson suffered minor injuries. Both men are currently in the hospital, but in stable condition.

The Little Rock Police Department announced that Hearnsberger’s vehicle has been recovered and is being processed for evidence.

Associate Vice President for Development and College Relations/Executive Director of the Foundation Rachel Gifford confirmed Tuesday that Hearnsberger is still an active online adjunct professor of music for the college, but had no comment at this time.

While in Blytheville, Hearnsberger served as the interim pastor at the First Christian Church and as a Choir Director and Coordinator of Arts and Music at Arkansas Northeastern College. He is currently on administrative leave from his position as the assistant principal at McClellan High School in Little Rock.

According to KATV Channel 7 in Little Rock, “Pam Smith, the communications director for the school district, issued the following statement: ‘The Little Rock School District has been made aware of the serious allegations against employee, Mr. Keith Hearnsberger. He has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. We will not be able to comment further because of the ongoing investigation.’"

Hearnsberger took the Little Rock job in July 2017.