Woman Speaks Out on Alleged Walmart Assault - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Reported by Steve Dorsey and Kye Parsons

Woman Speaks Out on Alleged Walmart Assault

Updated: Oct 20, 2010 08:09 AM EDT
Vera Faye Harris Hayward of Salisbury is speaking out after she says she was attacked at the Salisbury Walmart. (Photo: WBOC) Vera Faye Harris Hayward of Salisbury is speaking out after she says she was attacked at the Salisbury Walmart. (Photo: WBOC)
Salisbury police say the alleged attack occurred at the Walmart store located on North Salisbury Boulevard. (Photo: WBOC) Salisbury police say the alleged attack occurred at the Walmart store located on North Salisbury Boulevard. (Photo: WBOC)
James Russell Crockett Jr., is charged with assault and related offenses in connection with the alleged incident. James Russell Crockett Jr., is charged with assault and related offenses in connection with the alleged incident.

SALISBURY, Md.- A 70-year-old woman is speaking out after she says she was viciously attacked at the Walmart on North Salisbury Boulevard in Salisbury.

Salisbury police said the alleged attack happened in a store checkout line in the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 13.

Twenty-four-year-old James Russell Crockett Jr., of Delmar, Md. was arrested in connection with the alleged incident. He has been charged with first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, disturbing the peace, dangerous weapon with intent to injure and disorderly conduct. He was released on $100,000 bond.

Police said Crockett put the woman onto her cart and rammed it into a conveyor line several times, before she fell to the ground. According to investigators, the alleged assault happened because the victim, Vera Faye Harris Hayward of Salisbury, accidentally bumped her cart into the cart of Crockett's wife.

Hayward said she was then attacked in a fit of rage.

"Actually I thought he was going to kill me," Hayward said. "Because he had his fist balled up ... he was biting his lips--and I was just so afraid of him.'

According to court records, both Crockett and his wife, Virginia Elizabeth Crockett, 22, who are white, cursed at Hayward, and hurled racial slurs against the woman, who is black.

At one point the documents state that Hayward fell to the floor in pain, while the couple finished checking out their groceries for approximately 15 minutes before leaving the store in their vehicle.

According to court documents, no one- including any store employees- came to Hayward's aid while the alleged attack was happening.

One part of the charging documents states, "Hayward screamed and repeatedly begged anyone to 'Please call the police, call an ambulance, or call security.'"

According to the charging documents, one security agent said helping Hayward or confronting the couple was against Walmart policy.

"I'm just frightful for my life to even go back into that Walmart, because if anybody gets hurts, Walmart told me they can't do anything," Hayward said. "And that is the worst thing I've ever heard."

Hayward was treated at Peninsula Regional Medical Center after the alleged incident. She said she is emotionally scarred, and that her right knee--which had recently been replaced--was re-injured. She also said she has a hematoma on her other leg, which according to her, was the result of being attacked.

When asked for a comment, Walmart spokesman Dan Fogleman issued the following statement to WBOC:

"While I can't share with you our specific policies as they relate to in-store security operations, what I can tell you is that we want to always provide a safe, comfortable environment for our customers."

Virginia Crockett has also been charged on a criminal summons with disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.

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