Walmart parking lot argument turns ugly

Clay County investigators says couple never pulled gun during dispute

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – A heated argument over a shopping cart in a Middleburg Walmart parking lot last month led deputies on a search for a couple on one side of the dispute, but the Clay County Sheriff's Office found no crime was committed.

The Sheriff's Department was initially looking for the couple because another shopper, Joanie Fields, accused them of flashing a gun at her.  But the couple, Pat and Lisa Mooney, came forward and have been cleared of any wrongdoing. 

"The original allegation ... that Mr. Mooney was armed and threatened her with a gun was unproven," wrote Mary Justino, Clay County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman.

The Mooneys admit that the argument got heated very quickly and profanity was exchanged, they said Fields threatened them a Taser.

Earlier this month when News4Jax investigated, Fields did not return phone calls and the Mooneys said that they did not have a weapon.

"It's simply not true. This lady has completely told a bold-faced lie, a fabrication of a story, and I intend to press charges for filing a false police report and defamation of character," Pat Mooney said.

Some people might think an argument over something as small as a shopping cart is unwarranted, but according to News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith, arguments like these escalate all the time.

He suggests that people avoid a confrontation at all costs.

"The best thing to do is just get out of the car, move the shopping cart and park in the parking space instead of getting to the point where Tasers are pulled out and guns are threatened. It just went too far for what actually happened," Smith said.

Smith said that just like road rage situations, tempers flare and rational thinking gets thrown out the window.


About the Author:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.