Four people arrested in recent crime spree in Benton

BENTON (KATV) - Police say they've arrested four gang members for a recent string of armed robberies in Saline County.

The men are facing several charges for a crime spree in Benton that began earlier this month. But the investigation into the suspects is revealing a new kind of criminal the city isn't used to seeing.

"I heard him cock his gun," said one victim who asked to be kept anonymous.

It's the last sound you want to hear when you're lying on the floor at the wrong end of a gun.

"The whole time I was hoping that they wouldn't pull the trigger," he said.

This Benton resident is one of several victims robbed at gunpoint and one of two to have it happen in his own home.

"That's something I never thought would've happened right around here," he added.

By here, he's referring to his home but also the city of Benton. In just three weeks there was a home invasion robbery at Fountain Lakes Apartments and a victim held at gunpoint while using the ATM at Arvest Bank. Tuesday authorities arrested four young men, Ryan Walker, 23, Marcus Whitaker 18, and Kristen Gay 19-years-old. The fourth suspect is a minor.

"Why are they going around bothering innocent people?" asked the victim.

It's a question Benton detectives kept in mind as they investigated the incidents and what they found was surprising.

"There was gang affiliations with these subjects," said Lt. Kevin Russell, spokesperson for Benton Police Department.

Surprising, Russell said, because gang activity is almost foreign to Benton.

"It's a very big deal in our community because it's something we don't see," he said.

The emotional trauma of being held a gunpoint in his own home is also something new for this victim who doubts life for him will ever be the same.

All four men arrested are facing several charges including Aggravated Robbery and Engaging in a Continual Criminal Gang.

Authorities say two of the suspects have ties to Pulaski County. More arrests are expected.