BLADENBORO —An incident at a Bladenboro laundromat has resulted in charges of assault being alleged between Bladenboro Town Manager Delane Jackson and two women.
The incident happened on Sunday night at Jackson’s laundromat located on Seaboard Street in Bladenboro.
Jackson said he went to check on his business and to see if it needed cleaning when he says he was stopped by two women — identified as Penny Luann Sahli and Zoritta Wood — who were outside the building.
According to Jackson, one of the women said a washer was not working properly and she wanted her money back.
Jackson said he tried to inquire as to what the machine was doing so he could determine what he needed to repair it, but the situation “digressed after that.”
According to Jackson the second woman then entered the establishment and they began to yell.
Jackson said, “the women came within close proximity of me. I asked both of them to step back and get out of my face and they refused to do so.”
At some point, Jackson’s keys were knocked our of his hands. He said the keys landed on the floor near the two women and, when he asked them to step back so he could retrieve them, they refused.
Jackson said they were standing over the keys and he put his hands on their shoulders and pushed them back. He characterized his actions as defensive in nature.
Jackson said he was at home later that evening, at about 11:30 p.m., when he received a telephone call notifying him the women had taken out warrants. He said he contacted Bladenboro Mayor Livingston Lewis and proceeded to the magistrate’s office where the warrants were served. At that time, Jackson also took warrants on the women, charging them with simple assault.
Jackson, Sahli and Wood are scheduled to appear in Bladen County District Court on April 23.
According to records with the N.C. Department of Corrections, both women have criminal records — Sahli’s record dates back to 1989 and includes convictions for larceny, larceny after breaking and entering, theft, credit card fraud, forgery, and drugs. In 2003, she was declared a habitual felon; Wood’s record dates to 2005 and includes convictions for larceny and drug-related offenses.
According to reports, Sahli has a different recollection of events.
Sahli said that she was doing her laundry in Jackson’s laundromat and the machines were not working. She said another patron told her if she wanted to speak to Jackson she needed to do something that would be seen by the security cameras that Jackson allegedly watches from home.
According to reports, Sahli said she tried to explain to Jackson what happened but he became visibly upset and began to swear before giving her the money back.
Sahli told WWAY, “He said, ‘Get out of my washer. I could ban you,’” Sahli said. She said, ‘I’m calling (police officer) Randy Sykes.’ He said, ‘You call Randy Sykes, because he works for me. You tell him to come to my house and have some tea.’”