Earlier this month, Tyson Foods chief financial officer John Tyson—the 32-year-old great-grandson of the company’s founder, and son of its chair—was arrested in Fayetteville, Arkansas and charged with criminal trespass and public intoxication. Police said that he’d drunkenly entered a college-aged woman’s home and fallen asleep in a bed. Videos newly released to Motherboard under a public-records request show the incident in detail.
At 1:55 on the morning of November 6, wrote Officer Walker of the Fayetteville police in an incident report, he and Officer Samuels were dispatched to the woman’s home and were met by her and two friends. Accompanied by a third officer, the two then went inside the house.
“Cpl. Samuels introduced our presence as Fayetteville Police Officers,” wrote Walker in an incident report reviewed by Motherboard. “However, the male inside the bed continued to sleep. Cpl. Samuels retrieved the male’s identification (John Tyson) from his pants, which were located on the floor near the bed. After multiple verbal attempts to wake the male, he eventually sat up; however, he laid back down and continued to close his eyes. As a result, Cpl. Samuels and I removed the blankets and placed him into handcuffs. During this time, the male appeared disoriented and confused. For example, he repeatedly stated ‘no’ and would not place his arms behind his back and locked his arms out when assisted. Eventually, we successfully and safely applied wrist restraints (checked for fit/double locked). During initial contact with Tyson, I could smell the odor of intoxicants coming from his person. In addition, Tyson appeared disoriented and displayed slow and sluggish movements while being escorted out of the residence.”
Subsequently, Walker and the woman found the Harvard- and Stanford-educated meat scion and former J.P. Morgan investment banker’s boots and a sweater in a living room/kitchen area, and his pants and shirt in the bedroom.
All of this, along with Tyson’s journey to the police station and his arrival there, are documented in a series of videos obtained by Motherboard through a public-records request. These show in great detail the interactions between police and the CFO and former sustainability chief of a meat empire known for being among the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases, supervisors allegedly gambling on how many workers would die of COVID-19, cruelty to animals on an incomprehensible scale, and producing about a fifth the meat consumed in the United States every year.
“John!” says one of the officers. “I need you to wake up and talk to me before I drag you out of here butt naked.”
Tyson grunts and snuggles in comfortably. When three officers pull the bedding off him and order him to put his hands behind his back, the boxer-clad Tyson reaches groggily to pull it back over himself. “No no no no no no,” he mutters as his wrists are seized.
“Ow,” he groans as he’s cuffed. “I’m going to sleep,” he says, as the officers grab him by the ankles, tell him he’s in the wrong house, and gently pull him out of the bed.
He is then led into a squad car, where he bounces back and forth silently, seemingly in-and-out of sleep, on the 10-minute ride back to the police station.
At the station, officers discuss how to deal with Tyson.
“Kind of curious if Mr. Tyson here is part of that family of Tysons around here that everybody seems to know about,” one officer says to another at the station.
“It’s a popular name,” another officer responds. “Something about a chicken business?”
“Yeah,” the first officer says. “I mean, it affects my decisions none, I’m just curious.”
The officers then discuss in which order he will be processed. An officer tells Tyson he needs to answer a series of questions coherently, “or else you’re going to sit in a holding cell for 72 hours by yourself.”
The somewhat more coherent but still boxers-clad Tyson answers a number of questions about his medical status from the back seat of a cruiser. “He’s a winner,” says one police officer.
The board of Tyson Foods is reportedly investigating the incident. Tyson apologized to investors earlier this week, telling them “I’m committed to making sure this never happens again” on a conference call. He did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Earlier today, Tyson announced a recall of 94,000 pounds of ground beef, which were apparently tainted with “mirror-like” material.
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