Report: Stolen purse leads to fight at Rock Hill Waffle House

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comFebruary 7, 2013 

— Police say a brawl outside Waffle House that landed a Rock Hill man in the hospital Wednesday night started over a stolen purse and engagement ring.

When officers arrived at the Waffle House on Anderson Road, they found several people in the parking lot, including 28-year-old Michael Riley, who police said was “visibly intoxicated” and bleeding from his face, according to a Rock Hill Police report.

Riley told police that Jonathan Neely, 29, of Rock Hill punched him after Neely accused Riley of taking a woman’s purse while at the Palmetto Sports Bar on Porter Road. Neely then followed Riley and his girlfriend, Tamara Fudge, to Waffle House, the report states.

Neely said people at the bar told him that Riley and Fudge had taken the woman’s purse. He said Riley became upset when he confronted him about the purse and tried to punch him, according to the report.

That’s when Neely assaulted Riley, punching him in the face and leaving him with a swollen right eye and swollen lips, the report states. Neely was arrested and charged with third-degree assault and battery, while Riley was taken to Piedmont Medical Center.

Officers spoke with restaurant employees who said that when Neely arrived, Fudge, also “visibly intoxicated,” went into the restroom twice with a purse in hand. Police checked the bathroom and found the stolen purse thrown into the trash can, but other items, including the woman’s platinum engagement ring, watch, driver’s license and bank cards, were missing.

Fudge admitted that she took the purse as a joke before she reached into the front of her pants and gave police the woman’s watch and engagement ring, the report states.

Fudge was arrested, charged with receiving stolen goods. She and Neely were both still in jail Thursday morning. Neely was held on a $2,130 bond and Fudge was held on a $5,000 bond.

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