Parking lot brawl sends two to jail

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 17, 2003

A fight in the Butler Square Shopping Center parking lot sent two men to the Butler County Jail Friday night.

According to Greenville Police Officer Jimmy L. Duke’s report, he witnessed Matthew Wayne Estes, 18, of 112 Chalet Court strike Daniel Whittle with a long rod type item.

Duke stated that Jarrett Lowery, 20, of 1318 Wisteria Lane, Georgiana, took what turned out to be a fire poker from Whittle started towards Estes with it.

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When Lowery allegedly drew back to hit Estes, Duke stated he grabbed the fire poker and placed Lowery in his patrol car.

Duke’s report goes on to say Lowery yelled and cursed the entire time and when they opened the door to calm him down, he fought the officers.

During the struggle to handcuff and restrain Lowery, he allegedly kicked Duke in the groin and hit him in the other officer on the scene in the face and upper body.

Once they got him cuffed and back in the car, Lowery began to hit his head on the window of the car and finally was able to twist around and kick out the window.

According to Chief Lonzo Ingram, Lowery was arrested on charges of assault second degree for fighting the officers, criminal mischief second, disorderly conduct and for resisting arrest.

Ingram said Estes was charged with assault second for initially striking Whittle.

When Lowery was taken to the jail, he began to complain about injuries he received while fighting with officers and was taken to L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released back into the jail’s custody, Ingram said.

Estes was also treated and released.

Both men are out on bond.

No Greenville officer was seriously injured and did not require medical attention.

Ingram said it was an unfortunate thing to happen in the parking that has long been a favorite hangout for Greenville’s teenagers and young adults, but it is not common.

&uot;We patrol the lots regularly, just like patrol other areas,&uot; he said.

&uot;We know the kids are out there and we make every effort to be out there.&uot;

Ingram said he did not recall the last time an arrest was made from an incident at the lot.

The three biggest businesses at Butler Square were contacted for this story, but Burke’s Outlet and Goody’s did not give a response.

However, Dollar General Manager Dot Higdon is very displeased with the situation from Friday night and the way the parking is used for a hangout.

&uot;We are concerned about our business and we are concerned about the welfare of our customers,&uot; she said.

&uot;We have many customers who come in after dark and we don’t want them to ever feel afraid of coming to this shopping center.

We’re concerned about our business and the welfare of our customers especially after dark.&uot;

Higdon said she and other managers at the shopping center do not want a situation where their customers refuse to come shop because they are afraid of what is happening in the parking lot.

&uot;It is a concern among all the businesses in this shopping center,&uot; Higdon sad. &uot;Why is it allowed in this shopping center and not other shopping centers here in town?&uot;

She said a company like Dollar General thrives on serving its customers and if they quit coming to shop, then the business will fail.

She said it is bad enough huge crowds show up later in the night on the weekends, but this past Friday night, her store was still open due to the holiday shopping hours.

&uot;Our customers were here inside watching all the flashing blue and red lights, but none left,&uot; she said.

&uot;Of course, we had only a few to come in after it was over.

We just want it to be safe for our customers.&uot;

She said this time it was a simple altercation, but she worries about what would happen if someone uses a gun in the parking lot.

&uot;Bullets don’t have eyes,&uot; she said.

&uot;We are looking into the situation,&uot; McLendon said.

&uot;I don’t feel like we should base any decision on one incident. If they have concerns, they need to come see me and talk to us.

If they have concerns, talk to us.

We certainly don’t want anything to happen to our businesses.&uot;