A Columbus jury found an East Point, Ga., woman innocent of accusations she almost ran over a store worker who tried to keep her from leaving as he alleged she had been seen scamming game machines in the business.
Jurors Thursday found Lawanda Denise Chisholm, 45, not guilty of aggravated assault in the Jan. 24, 2016, incident at the Corner Cupboard Food Mart, 3475 Victory Drive.
The store worker, Narinder Bhatia, testified that he thought he recognized Chisholm and a man playing gaming machines in the business about 2 p.m. that day, because he believed he had seen the same pair four or five weeks earlier using some artifice to trick the machines, which he said paid winners in lottery tickets or store credit.
He confronted Chisholm, calling the police and telling her not to leave until officers arrived.
“As soon as I call them, she walks off,” Bhatia testified under questioning by Chisholm’s defense attorney Mark Jones.
Bhatia said he followed Chisholm outside and used his cell phone to take a photo of the Florida license plate on the rented black 2016 Kia Optima she was driving. He alleged that she tried to hit him with the car as she drove away, forcing him to leap out of her way.
His testimony at times was difficult to follow. Jones had trouble establishing exactly where Bhatia was standing in relation to Chisholm’s car when it started moving.
Jurors deliberated several hours before announcing the verdict.