The Arkansas man arrested for criminal mischief Monday in connection with what deputies consider a driveway paving scam has been identified as Phill Emaul Boswell.
Boswell was arraigned Tuesday evening and released from jail after posting a $5,000 bond on the state jail felony criminal mischief charge.
The 47-year-old Texarkana, Ark., man is alleged to have approached a County Road 3511 resident Monday morning about putting down tar on his driveway. He offered to use materials left over from another job to do the driveway project, which would result in a cost of $1,200 for the project, according to Hopkins County Chief Sheriff’s Investigator Toney Hurley.
However, when Boswell and his crew completed the work at the end of the day, he presented the resident a bill for $6,500, five times the original quote. Boswell told the man that additional materials were needed to complete the project, hence the additional cost. The resident declined to pay the amount and a dispute ensured.
“The man’s son came home, decided it was not right and called the sheriff’s office,” Hurley said.
When deputies arrived, all workers except Boswell left the location in their vehicles, traveling in various directions. Boswell was said to have been actively tearing up the driveway.
“He was definitely responsible for the damage. As officers got there, he was ripping up several feet of the road,” said Hurley.
“When in custody, the subject stated he started tearing up what was laid. All vehicles left on site were seized per [the sheriff’s department’s criminal investigations department],” Cpl. Dennis Findley noted on Boswell’s arrest sheet.
Findley took Boswell into custody and arrested him for felony criminal mischief. Boswell reportedly dropped more than $1,400 in cash he had in his possession while being booked into jail, according to reports filed by Findley, Sgt. Tanner Crump and investigators.
Sheriff’s investigators said they’d made contact with other individuals for whom Boswell had worked recently, but all indicated satisfaction with the service.
Scams, such as driveway paving scams in which one price is quoted then another much larger inflated price given when the job is completed, generally target elderly individuals, and are illegal, Hurley noted.
Deputies and investigators urge anyone who feels they may have been wronged in a scam similar to the one reported Monday evening or any other scam to contact the sheriff’s office at 903-438-4040 or the nearest law enforcement agency to have the suspected scam checked out.
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