July 23, 2024

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Tyson Foods Suspends C.F.O. John Tyson After Arrest and D.W.I. Charge

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A top executive at Tyson Foods who is a fourth-generation member of the Tyson family business was suspended on Thursday after he was charged with driving while intoxicated, the company said in a statement.

John Randal Tyson, 34, the company’s chief financial officer and a great-grandson of Tyson’s founder, was arrested in Fayetteville, Ark., by the University of Arkansas Police Department and booked at the Washington County jail at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, jail records show.

It was the second time in less than two years that Mr. Tyson had been charged with an alcohol-related offense.

Mr. Tyson, whose father is Tyson’s chairman, was named the company’s chief financial officer in September 2022. He had been in his position just over a month when he was arrested in November 2022, after a woman called the police to report that she had returned to her home in Fayetteville to find him asleep in her bed, The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.

Tyson Foods said in a statement on Thursday that it was aware that Mr. Tyson had been “arrested for an alleged DWI.”

“Tyson Foods has suspended Mr. Tyson from his duties effective immediately,” the company said. The company named Curt Calaway as his interim replacement.

Tyson Foods declined additional comment beyond its statement Thursday.

According to a preliminary police report, at around 12:45 a.m. Thursday, an officer with the University of Arkansas Police Department followed a silver S.U.V. that appeared to be traveling above the 25-mile-per-hour speed limit. The officer noted that the vehicle made a wide turn before hitting a curb on the driver’s side, partly driving on the curb and grass before returning to the roadway.

The officer stopped the driver, identified as Mr. Tyson, and smelled a “strong odor of intoxicants from the vehicle,” according to the report. Mr. Tyson’s eyes appeared “bloodshot and watery,” it said.

Mr. Tyson told the officer he had not been drinking and agreed to perform field sobriety tests, the report said. The officer said Mr. Tyson smelled of alcohol. Asked again how much he’d had to drink, Mr. Tyson said he had consumed five to seven Miller Lite beers at Maxine’s Tap Room, a cocktail bar in Fayetteville.

Mr. Tyson was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated and was taken to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. He took a breathalyzer test at around 2 a.m. that showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.191, more than twice the 0.08 legal limit.

Mr. Tyson was also charged with careless driving and making an improper U-turn. He was released from custody on Thursday morning.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Mr. Tyson apologized after his 2022 arrest and later pleaded guilty to charges of public intoxication and criminal trespass.

The woman told the police that the man she found asleep in her bed may have come in through an unlocked door, The Democrat-Gazette reported, citing a preliminary police report. An officer found Mr. Tyson, identified from his Arkansas driver’s license, sleeping in a rear bedroom with his clothes on the floor, the newspaper reported.

According to jail records, Mr. Tyson is scheduled to appear in Fayetteville District Court on the latest charges on July 15.

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