The women involved in the Dollar Tree brawls said they were defending themselves when they got into multiple fights in the Buena Vista Road store, according to testimony Tuesday in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
Tyeisha Hightower, 30, Jada Williamson, 19, Chanelle Broughton, 28, pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct in the June 22 incident. Judge Julius Hunter found them guilty and fined them about $700 each.
Columbus police were called to a Steam Mill Road home around 8:10 p.m. June 22 to speak with a group of women about an altercation at the Dollar Tree at 4105 Buena Vista Road.
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They reported that they were involved in an ongoing dispute with another group of people they saw at the Rainbow Foods grocery store on Buena Vista Road, authorities said.
“They had an ongoing altercation with some people, and they followed them over to the Dollar Tree,” Sgt. Art Sheldon said. “When they were in the store, they started using verbal language and went to abusing each other.”
Hightower told the Ledger-Enquirer on June 29 that she was walking away from Rainbow Foods with her 14-year-old daughter and multiple friends when she spotted a group of people she didn’t know. She said a woman with that group bumped into her.
She said the group followed her and her friends as they walked into the dollar store. She said they made rude remarks and threw items at her as she walked around the business.
Hightower said she tried to avoid a confrontation, but she had to defend herself and her daughter. Multiple fights broke out in the store around 7:30 p.m., but officials said no one was seriously injured.
Hightower’s daughter also faces a disorderly charge stemming from the incident.
Williamson told the court that the group Hightower was with followed her and her group into Rainbow Foods. She said they were headed to the car when Hightower bumped into her friend.
Williamson said Hightower told the woman, “Excuse me, b----?” Hightower said she said excuse me but didn’t curse her out until after the
Williamson said the incident escalated after Hightower’s daughter made a statement to her friends.
“At that time, her daughter kicked her shoes off and said, “So what y’all trying to do?” Williamson testified.
According to Williamson’s account of the incident, the fight started outside of the Dollar Tree. She said she left the area and went inside of the dollar store, where additional fights broke out.
Broughton didn’t testify in court, but she allegedly told police that she was defending herself against the group of people who were following her and her friends.