A Grovetown man punched a Columbia County sheriff’s deputy in the Evans Wal-Mart parking lot, then crashed into a second officer’s vehicle while fleeing the store early Sunday, authorities said.
Javantroi Perez Walden, 34, who since July has been charged with groping at least four women at Wal-Marts and a teenager at a Sonic, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and other charges.
According to Capt. Steve Morris, the spokesman for the sheriff’s office, Sgt. David Heaton saw a car sitting vacant in the Wal-Mart parking lot with the engine running around 1:55 a.m.
As Heaton was running the license plate, Walden walked out of the store toward the vehicle. When Heaton tried to question him, Walden punched him in the neck and drove off, Morris said.
While Heaton was chasing the car, Deputy Eddie Moseley was sitting at the traffic light at Belair and Washington roads. Walden rammed into Moseley, causing “extensive damage to both cars,” Morris said.
There were no injuries and no other vehicles involved, Morris said. Moseley’s Dodge Charger was brand new.
Walden was out of jail on bond from a Sept. 17 arrest on charges of groping three women at two Columbia County Wal-Marts. A 57-year-old told deputies that a man grabbed her breast at the Evans Wal-Mart and ran out of the store, which was caught on surveillance video.
The same day, two women, ages 26 and 39, reported having their breasts grabbed at the Martinez Wal-Mart on Bobby Jones Expressway by a man who matched the description from the incident in Evans.
Walden was also arrested July 3 and charged with two counts of sexual battery, accused of grabbing the breasts of a 21-year-old woman at the Martinez Wal-Mart and a 17-year-old server at Sonic on Belair Road.
All the charges are still pending.
In Sunday’s incident, Walden was charged with aggravated assault, willful obstruction of a law enforcement officer, failure to maintain lane, a safety belt violation, driving in violation of conditions of a limited permit, reckless driving, fleeing/attempt to elude a police officer for felony offense and driving under the influence of alcohol.
Morris said no incidents of groping were reported at the Evans Wal-Mart early Sunday but that Walden is a suspect in a Friday groping at the store in which charges are pending.