A Sitka Grand Jury has indicted a man for assault charges, after he allegedly hit a store manager with a stolen bottle of wine.

William Walters, Jr., age 22, was indicted on Friday (4-1-16). He is charged with one felony count of Assault in the Third Degree.

Sikta Police Lt. Lance Ewers says Walters was seen stealing a bottle from House of Liquor on the afternoon of March 28. The manager followed him out of the store to an adjacent lot behind Blatchley Middle School.

“Right there outside in that parking lot is where the manager confronted the suspect, grabbed him actually and when he spun him around that bottle fell to the ground,” Ewers said. “And that’s when those two grown adults just started punching each other right there in the parking lot, exchanging blow for blow like a boxing match right there.”

Ewers says school had just ended for the day when Tom Henshaw, a sixth-grade teacher at Blatchley, witnessed the men hitting each other and told his daughter to call police. He went outside to break up the fight. Once the men stopped, Walters allegedly picked up the bottle from the ground and swung it in a “round house” motion at the manager, hitting him on his left cheek, according to court documents. Ewers says Walters struck the manager so hard that it broke the bottle.

“I’m sure I’m not the only one that took a bottle and try to smash it on rocks and watched it bounce and not break,” Ewers said. “And this bottle wasn’t even open. So the force it would take to smash a bottle over somebody’s face is pretty substantial.”

Ewers says after that hit, Henshaw tackled Walters and held him there until police arrived.

“One minute you’re teaching children and the next time you’re protecting the children from crazed violence right there in the parking lot,” he said.

He says the manager was treated for his injuries and is “thankfully” doing OK. Walters is scheduled to appear in court later this month.

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