A Gallatin man is facing multiple criminal charges after police say he assaulted a 70-year-old woman following a fender-bender earlier this year.
Charles Melton, 59, was indicted by a Sumner County grand jury Sept. 5 on charges of assault, robbery, interference with emergency calls, leaving the scene of an accident and violation of the financial responsibility law, according to court records.
The incident occurred near the intersection of S.R. 109 and South Water Avenue on July 23, according to an arrest affidavit signed by Det. Mark Whitley with the Gallatin Police Department.
When officers arrived, the victim stated that she had just pulled over onto the side of the road and was in the process of notifying police that someone had struck her vehicle from behind when she was attacked.
“(The victim) had just connected with the Sumner County ECC 911 dispatch at which time she said the male subject began physically assaulting her about her head and upper body,” Whitley wrote in the affidavit. “(The victim) said she fell to the ground while attempting to block the assault and the subject quickly retreated back to his vehicle and left the scene.”
In audio from the 911 call obtained by the Gallatin News, the victim can be heard suddenly screaming 18 seconds after she first began speaking to the dispatcher. The call then goes silent about 13 seconds later.
The assault was described by a witness who was at the nearby Circle K gas station and called 911 to report what happened.
“Some guy just pulled over behind an old woman and drug her out of the car and just beat the crap out of her and got something out of her and threw it…,” the witness told the dispatcher in a second 911 call obtained by the Gallatin News. “She probably was on her phone because it looked like he snatched it out of her hand and threw it over into the field. He was like hitting her in the head.”
An uninvolved motorist was able to take a picture of Melton’s vehicle as it left the scene, which police were able to use to locate the 59-year-old at his home on Shawn Drive, according to the affidavit. When interviewed by detectives, Melton admitted to operating the vehicle during the crash as well as assaulting the victim.
As of Tuesday, Melton was still being held in the Sumner County Jail on $10,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in Sumner County Criminal Court for a settlement hearing on Dec. 9.