A 51-year-old Youngstown man was jailed on charges of felonious assault and tampering with evidence following a stabbing in the parking lot of Wal-Mart, 1300 Doral Dr., last Sat., Nov. 30, about 5:30 p.m.
Taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown and treated for a single stab wound to the left shoulder was 50-year-old Ernest Lee Thomas, of 30467 Salem-Alliance Rd., Salem, who told local police that he was retired from the Seminole County, Fla. Sheriff’s Office.
According to police reports, Thomas was carrying a 40-calibre Glock handgun and a container of pepper spray at the time of the incident.
Arrested as Darrell Peterman, of 129 Brookline Ave., Youngstown. He was jailed on a $20,000 bond.
Both Thomas and Peterman said a confrontation began over a parking space. Peterman invoked the ‘race card’ in his statements to Boardman police, alleging that Thomas “began calling him a nigger.”
Six police units responded to the call and learned from Thomas that he had pulled into a handcap parking space and upon observing another car parked “between” handcap spots, told his wife “I guess people can’t park legally anymore.”
Thomas’s version of events laid claim that it was apparently Peterman’s car that was parked ‘in-between’ handicap spots and Thomas claimed that Peterman must have overheard his remarks to his wife.
“The two began to argue,” Ptl. Joseph Olinger reported, noting that Thomas claimed that Peterman called him a “bitch and he would kick his ass.”
Thomas claimed that Peterman ran at him in an “aggressive manner.”
Thomas then said he sprayed Peterman with pepper spray, but that didn’t deter Peterman, who continued rushing at Thomas, striking him in the back and shoulder.
When he realized he had been stabbed, Thomas said he drew his weapon and Peterman then ran into Wal-Mart.
Thomas told police he holds a concealed carry permit.Peterman denied stabbing Thomas and claimed that Thomas had pulled a knife on him and that he had “rushed” Thomas to disarm the man.
Checking surveillance tapes, Officers Shawn McClellan and Joe O’Grady found a knife in the layaway department of Wal-Mart.
“The surveillance tapes showed Thomas discarding the knife, and also showed the two men arguing in the parking lot,” Officer Olinger reported.
According to police, a video obtained from a cell phone showed Thomas standing next to Peterman’s car “while Peterman sat in the driver’s seat with the door open and one leg outside of the vehicle. Peterman exited the vehicle, ran at Thomas, and Thomas sprayed Peterman with pepper spray. Peterman then struck Thomas twice in the left shoulder and Thomas backed away. Thomas then ran towards the front of the store, with Peterman running after him. Thomas drew his Glock and pointed it at Peterman...Peterman could be observed holding a black knife in his right hand.”
Officer Olinger said that Thomas was treated at the hospital for a one-inch stab wound to his left shoulder.