A battle over a boot being placed on a tractor-trailer in the Walmart parking lot in Perry led to the truck driver being hit by a car and a parking enforcement worker being taken to jail.
Mason Parker, 23, of Marietta, who is an employee of Buckhead Parking Enforcement, was charged with aggravated assault Tuesday for allegedly running his Kia into the truck driver, Perry police Capt. Heath Dykes said.
“We’ve had a lot of booting trucks up there at the Walmart parking lot, and it’s been a mess,” Dykes said.
At about 6 p.m. Tuesday, Perry police were called to the dispute in the Walmart Supercenter parking lot at 1009 St. Patricks Drive.
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“Normally this is a civil matter, but it became a criminal matter,” Perry police Maj. Bill Phelps said.
Truck driver Arthur Emons, of Orchard Hill, had called in a wrecker to remove the booted truck, and Parker allegedly pulled his vehicle up and tried to block the tow truck from leaving, Phelps said.
Emons, who was standing by the vehicle, was hit in the back of the leg and reported numbness but said he didn’t need medical treatment, according to the incident report.
At least two people caught the incident on video, and the footage shows Parker rolling toward Emons, who was standing in front of the vehicle, the report states. The Telegraph was unable to obtain a copy of the video.
Emons started yelling on the video, saying that his legs were being hit.
The Telegraph reached Parker by telephone Friday, but he said he could not say anything before hanging up.
A woman who answered the phone at the booting company, which is based in Fulton County’s Union City outside of Atlanta, also said she could not comment, nor could she confirm whether Parker was still employed.
Dykes said the booting company charges about $500 to remove the apparatus, which angers truckers.
“Then it usually winds up in an argument, and we get called,” Dykes said.
It’s the police department’s understanding that trucks have a 30-minute limit to park in the Walmart lot, Dykes said.
“The truckers say they’re not giving them time to get in and out, but the booter wants the $500,” Dykes said.
The Walmart manager on duty Friday morning referred The Telegraph to a corporate spokesperson, but an inquiry about the parking policy was not immediately answered.
Perry police Chief Steve Lynn said the parking lot has signs warning that truck parking is not permitted.
“I don’t think there’s adequate parking up and down the interstate. When truck stops get full, they’re full,” Lynn said.
Truckers are scrounging for places to park for mandated rest.
“When you hit your log hours, you can be fined,” Lynn said.