By Will Johnson
CROCKETT – A Crockett man was arrested and charged with a felony offense after a dispute over tire rims led to a physical altercation.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, 39-year-old Martin Luther King was charged with aggravated assault in retaliation after King allegedly initiated a fight in retaliation for the sale of tire rims between to other individuals.
The affidavit reported the incident in question began on Feb. 19 when Crockett Police Department officers were dispatched to the OK Food Store in reference to “… someone pulling a gun on someone.”
When the officers arrived at the location, they met with a female complainant who stated the person who pulled the gun could be found at 303A W. Austin St.
The affidavit reported the officers went to the Austin Street address and met with a second female who said her husband – Rodney Cooper – had recently purchased some tire rims from the husband of the original complainant, but had not yet paid.
The second female indicated the complainant and Cooper got into a verbal argument but at no time did she see Cooper with a weapon, the affidavit reported.
“While talking with (the second female), I (Lt. Lonnie Lum) heard Sgt. Alfredo Fajardo on the radio, along with Houston County deputies making contact with Rodney Cooper on Rose Street. I stood by while Officer (Andrew) Allen conducted his investigation. After it was completed and he had talked with all involved parties, he informed me that he was placing Cooper under arrest,” the affidavit stated.
Shortly afterwards, Lt. Lum was dispatched to the home of the original complainant in reference to a “… physical disturbance involving a door being kicked in.”
As the investigation unfolded, the police spoke with several different witnesses to the events that transpired and received several different variations about what happened, the affidavit indicated.
According to the affidavit King and another male subject walked by the original complainant’s residence and saw her husband standing on the porch.
The two men began arguing which escalated into a fight between the two men. When Lum arrived at the scene, he observed the complainant’s husband bleeding from a laceration under his eye.
The fight resulted because Martin believed the complainant and her husband had initiated the arrest of Cooper on charges of deadly conduct, a class A misdemeanor.
After speaking with both King and the man who was assaulted, Lum requested a warrant for the arrest of King.
“It is a known fact that Martin King and Rodney Cooper are good friends. It is also a known fact that Martin King was the initial person that set Cooper up with (the assault victim) on the purchase of the rims,” the affidavit stated. “The facts in this case lead me to believe that Martin King did in fact go to (the residence of the original complainant and her husband) with the intent of committing an assault in retaliation for getting Cooper arrested. Therefore, I will be requesting a warrant be issued for Martin Luther King for the offense of aggravated assault in retaliation.”
The warrant was issued and on Feb. 24 King was taken into custody on the charge of aggravated assault in retaliation.
The offense is considered a first degree felony and according to Section 12.32 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for life or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than five years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”
King is being held at the Houston Jail on a bond of $30,000.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.