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Vice Blog

A Hot Dog-Seller Told Us About the Alleged Corrupt Cop He Says Tried to Kill Him

But he's not the one who ended up dead.

Ean Bordeaux. Photo by Mike Poe

When Ean Bordeaux isn’t selling hot dogs at the River Market in Little Rock, Arkansas, he’s writing about racketeering and police misconduct (cops doing racist shit) on his blog, which allegedly motivated Todd Payne, a former cop, to try to kill him. “There are members of the Little Rock Police Department actively and unceasingly engaging in such illegal activities as racketeering, complainant and witness intimidation,” Bordeaux posted. “MOST of these mercenary police officers reside OUTSIDE of Little Rock City Limits. This only adds insult to injury as they are not even citizens of our great city, but are unwisely and irresponsibly allowed to SHOOT and KILL its citizens.”


According to Bordeaux, he had known Payne since 2004 when the cop started hanging out around Bordeaux’s hot dog stand. Bordeaux says Payne began leaking him internal information about cops. At the same time, Bordeaux claims, Payne passed information about his hot dog business to a small group of rogue police officers to sabotage the blogger’s finances.

These activities eventually caught up with Payne. In 2010 he lost his job because he allegedly had used an illness as an excuse to refuse to break up a bar fight, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. But Payne’s departure from the police force didn’t stop Bordeaux from blogging about him. In the past four years, the hot dog vendor has targeted both Payne and a River Market cop who was his partner. “This corrupt piece of work was besties and rookie school partners with dog murdering hate crime arsonist Joel “Creepy Todd” Payne,” Ean wrote.

In retaliation, Payne allegedly tried to kill Bordeaux and ruin his hot dog business. In January 2014, Payne allegedly shot up Bordeaux’s house. Five bullets struck six inches above the hot dog vendor’s head, two hit the downstairs neighbor’s window, and another killed his dog, Dixie.

Dixie. Photo by Ean Bordeaux

Payne messaged Bordeaux on Facebook on March 1 to ask him bizarre questions. “I’m reading your shooting report. Was the dog outside or inside when it was shot?” he wrote. He also asked, “Why were you untruthful with the police dept? They are laughing their asses off at you. That’s why the report was sent to me.”


In April, Arkansas Online reported on an even more dramatic incident. Payne allegedly returned to Bordeaux’s home—this time to allegedly light the blogger’s hot dog cart on fire. Bordeaux spotted him. Payne bolted from the house and then returned to try to wreck the hot dog cart again.

Lieutenant Sidney Allen told Arkansas Online that, “The suspect fled on foot and was caught by Bordeaux within a short distance.” The official police version of the story then has a big jump forward in time: “Details are limited, but while Bordeaux was engaged with the suspect, the suspect sustained injuries that later led to his death at a local hospital.”

I called Bordeaux to find out more, and to discuss his hot dog vending business, Payne’s alleged attempt on his life, and police brutality.

VICE: Before Payne tried to kill you, how did he or other cops try to ruin your hot dog business? 
Ean Bordeaux: His rookie school buddy was happy to manipulate behind the scenes. If it was a private location, [his rookie school buddy] would find out who the landlord was and defame my business. [He would also] look for vendors sympathetic to his cause and get them to “complain” about my affairs or me. For city locations, he tried to get some official to go along with him—he went as far as to go into the code office to push his weight around, looking for a way to get me “cased up.”

Payne left your house and then came back in April. How long did it take for the police to arrive?
When I contacted 911 for the first time, it was at 4:22 AM. My next call was at 4:45 AM. So between 4:22 and 4:45, there was nothing. It was in this time that the masked man returned. I was in my bathroom, practically naked. [My dogs] were barking—I was lying down and waiting for the invasion bark. [The dogs have barks] like I’ve-never-seen-this-motherfucker-before bark and the you-ain’t-doin’-shit-around-here-whoop-your-goddamned-ass bark. These are smart fucking dogs, trust me.


I was getting the alarm barks which means, “Daddy that’s the same person who did the last shit.” I looked at the monitors on the security surveillance system that I just put in two days prior because my girl just kept bitching at me about it. I caught that bark, and I screamed, “HE’S BACK!” I could barely see the figure coming across the bridge. I was seeing what the figure was going to do. He’s crossing the street, heading directly to the cart. When I was about 10 feet away, he was already at the cart, dumping lighter fluid on it. And I said, “HEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” He looked up and started dumping more, and tried to light it more quickly.

Dixie. Photo by Ean Bordeaux

Is it true Payne wore a mask that night?
He was moving a little bit faster than a fat crackhead would move. In the process, I saw a hand swinging out with something dark and long in it. Every crackhead I know at least has a steak knife on him, so I was thinking, Oh God, I just fucked up. My fucking Crocs were off. I was in pursuit of a man who may have something far more than what I have.

You claim you eventually tackled him. What did he do after you tackled him?
I saw him down, and I knew I had to get up first. I said, “Stay the fuck down. Don’t fucking move.” I watched for his hands that were underneath him. At this point, I was thinking, This is fucking Todd. He may be trying to act like he’s out or something and shoot the shit out of me. I was still freaking out. I don’t know if he’s going to get up—and then I heard him snore.


He started snoring? 
Yeah, and to me, this was sweet fucking relief. He’s twitching a little. (I couldn’t tell what it was, but I wasn’t going to be taking no fucking chances.) I called 9-1-1 again. All I could get out was, “I need you now. I need you now. He came back. Where are you?” I sat down on the curb and waited on the police. Man, it was surreal as shit.

How would you label Payne’s crime? 
It’s a hate crime. He’s an admitted racist trying to burn a nigger up; I gotta fucking hate crime on my lawn. That’s the bottom line here—just having to stand my ground.

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