January 25, 2013

Alleged attacker of Calhoun Walmart greeter found not guilty

Rachel Brown

— Jacob Harrison Ward said he’s glad someone took the time to check out a surveillance tape and other facts after he was charged in 2011 with assaulting a female greeter at the Calhoun Walmart with a stun gun he was carrying.

Ward was found not guilty by a Gordon County jury almost a year ago after Calhoun Police charged him with simple battery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Ward, who was 34 and living in Crandall when he was arrested in July 2011, said he did have a flashlight/stun gun device on him when he walked inside the store and set off an alarm.

“The (Walmart greeter) lady stopped me and asked what I had in my possession,” he said.

Ward said he told her it was a flashlight with a “little Taser,” and she began to reach for it. He said he told her not to, and he clicked it off to show her what it was but did not aim it at her. He said she let him walk on after that but she later pressed charges.

Ward’s father, Harry Ward, said the stun-gun shocks someone only if it’s touched to them.

Initial news reports quoted police officials as saying the 69-year-old greeter reported she was assaulted with the stun-gun by a heavily tattooed white man.

“It was just something I had playing with it, a toy basically,” Ward said of why he had the device with him. “I stayed in jail for six months in Gordon County (waiting to get out on bond) over nothing.”

Calhoun Police officials didn’t return phone calls seeking comment. A phone number for the greeter could not be found.