Debt collection gone awry results in multiple injuries

One person airlifted with head injury, another struck by vehicle
Jul. 03, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

Three people were injured — with one individual airlifted to Duke Hospital — during a scuffle over an unpaid debt Monday afternoon, authorities said.

John Thomas Jr., 39, of the 300 block of South Seventh Street, went to collect money from an individual living in the 100 block of Char-Lin Drive around 5 p.m., according to Lee County Sheriff's Office Lt. Van Holly. Thomas engaged in a verbal dispute with the owners of the property and reportedly struck a female resident in the arm with a wooden stick. After an altercation with several individuals, Holly said Thomas left and hit another female resident with his vehicle.  Melanie Thomas, of the 100 block of Char-Lin Drive, no relation to John Thomas, was taken to Central Carolina Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Holly said. 

"As a result of the altercation at the residence between John Thomas and members of the household, John Thomas sustained a head injury and was airlifted for medical treatment," Holly said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Thomas was still in intensive care at Duke Hospital, but was expected to move into a regular care room, Holly said.

"We are still in the middle of the investigation," Holly said, adding that charges will likely be filed at a later date. 

No other injuries were reported during the fight.