Mike Huckabee's Son David Has A Troubling History With Law Enforcement That's Really Disturbing To Read
In the hours after former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee announced his White House intentions on Tuesday, the public swarmed over the juiciest details of his life in and out of politics. The famously evangelical leader was kept on his toes on all afternoon, facing scrutiny not only of his notoriously conservative policies, but also of his personal life. There's one story in particular that Huckabee can't seem to avoid: son David Huckabee's run-ins with law enforcement. And, yes, that's run-ins plural, and two are being brought back into the news cycle. David, 34, has a bit of a track record of alleged criminal behavior, including alleged incidents with police in his teens and again in his mid-20s. Bustle has reached out to Huckabee spokespeople for comment and is awaiting reply.
Little is known about David's childhood prior to 1998, when he first found notoriety after a gruesome alleged incident at a summer camp. According to a 2007 Newsweek report, police records indicated that then-17-year-old David had been serving as a counselor at a Boy Scout camp when he and another boy allegedly killed a stray dog that had wandered onto the grounds of Camp Pioneer in Hatfield, Arkansas. The two were subsequently fired by the camp.
When the story hit the press, animal rights activists were outraged and alleged that animal cruelty laws had been violated. But while their protests drew an impressive amount of local attention, conflicting details of the alleged incident also began to circulate. The father of the other teen counselor fired over the alleged incident claimed that the dog had been tortured by younger campers and that David and his fellow counselor had stepped in to put the dog out of its misery. In an interview with Larry King in 2007, Huckabee himself alleged that the dog had mange and that the two teens had put it down ("It looked like it was going to attack," he told King). Utopia Animal Rescue, in Medina, Texas, claimed that it was David and his co-counselor who had been torturing the animal before putting a blade to its throat. A Scout executive confirmed to Newsweek that the two had been fired for not adhering to the Boy Scout motto, "A scout is kind."
David never publicly commented on the incident until much later, when he told reporters through a 2008 campaign official that he regretted the incident, according to Newsweek.
Whatever actually happened that day is still unknown. According to Newsweek, John Bailey, the director of Arkansas's state police at the time, alleged that Huckabee's lawyer and chief of staff had pressed him to drop investigations into the possible animal cruelty incident, which is considered a misdemeanor in the Southern state. Huckabee denied those claims. Bailey claimed Huckabee later called him into his office and fired him.
"[He told me], 'I've lost confidence in your ability to do your job'," Bailey claimed. "[The governor said], 'I couldn't get you to help me with my son when I had that problem.'"
When Newsweek reached out to the governor's camp, Huckabee called the allegations "totally untrue." Huckabee said at the time, "I asked him to resign because he had so alienated the entire state police ... It had nothing to do with my son." Huckabee did not elaborate on the reasons behind Bailey's dismissal.
For nearly 10 years, news of David Huckabee went silent as the teen headed off to school at Arkansas State University to study political science. Then in late 2007, shortly after his father had launched his initial presidential bid, the governor's son popped up on the radar once more in less-than-desirable circumstances. Police reports indicated that the then-26-year-old David was arrested in a Little Rock, Arkansas, airport as he attempted to board a plane carrying a loaded Glock pistol, which the younger Huckabee claimed he had forgotten was in his suitcase.
"[It was a] silly mistake," David said in a statement following his release from jail later that day. "It shouldn't affect [my father's presidential campaign]." He later served 10 days of community service for the incident.
David, now 34 and married, has stayed out of the spotlight since his 2007 arrest. But with his father's fresh 2016 bid kickstarted, old allegations have been dug up and skeletons put on display, as they are in most political campaigns. For his part, David is keeping to himself.
Images: Pulaski County Jail release; Getty Images (2)