Man arrested on assault charge after parking lot accident

A report of an accident Friday afternoon on the Walmart parking lot resulted in the arrest of a Pine Bluff man who allegedly rammed another vehicle with the truck he was driving then left the scene after giving police his information.

A police officer let Jerry Newton, 55, leave the scene of the accident, thinking the incident was only a traffic offense, then officers had to go to Newton’s house after he refused to return to Walmart, Detective James Williams reported in a probable cause affidavit that was presented in court Monday.

Deputy Prosecutor Maxie Kizer said the victim was pulling out of a parking spot at Walmart when Newton pulled into the lane in front of her. She stopped so that Newton could pass. Newton reportedly got out of the truck he was driving and told the victim to “move or he would hit her,” then got back into his truck and hit the front of her car with his vehicle.

Williams reported that the force of impact knocked the victim’s car backward, causing it to strike a parked vehicle, and after Newton gave police his driver’s license and other information, he was allowed to leave.

Kizer said police reviewed video surveillance tapes from Walmart and confirmed the victim’s account of the incident.

Williams reported that when Newton was contacted, he reportedly told police they would have to come to his house to talk to him, and officers located the truck with front-end damage.

Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney set a $25,000 bond for Newton after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge him with aggravated assault and with first-degree criminal mischief.

Newton was also ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim and told to come back to court Dec. 31.

Newton said he would hire his own attorney.