Woman jailed after elderly couple squabbles in drug store parking lot

Carolyn Sue Sweat

A 74-year-old woman was arrested Thursday night after allegedly pushing her 85-year-old boyfriend to the ground during an argument outside the CVS store in Belleview.

Belleview Police were called to the store, located at 5800 SE Abshier Blvd., at around 8 p.m. in reference to a physical altercation in the parking lot. Witnesses told the responding officer that the victim was inside the store and the suspect – Carolyn Sue Sweat – had walked away from the scene. Another officer was sent to apprehend Sweat, according to the Belleview police report.

The victim was in the men’s restroom, where the officer observed multiple bleeding lacerations on his face and bruises forming on his forehead. The officer escorted the victim outside the store and asked Marion County Fire Rescue to evaluate him, the report said.

The victim told the officer that Sweat, his girlfriend of approximately 10 years, was angry because his credit card was declined, and had walked outside the store. He said he found her sitting on the curb and asked her to stand up so they could talk. The victim said as they were talking, Sweat started yelling at him and pushed him down, according to the report.

Several eyewitnesses who said they were standing near the store entrance told the officer they became aware of the situation when they heard the verbal argument. They said they saw Sweat push the victim, causing him to fall to the ground, before she left the location, the report said.

Sweat, who had been retrieved by the other officer, said she and the victim came to the store together to shop. She said the victim tried to purchase multiple items and his credit card was declined. Sweat said she walked outside and was sitting on the curb when she was confronted by the victim, who started a verbal argument and pushed her into the shrubs. She said she responded by pushing the victim, but she said she didn’t push him hard enough to cause him to fall and that he did so just out of exaggeration. The officer didn’t see any injuries on Sweat, and she did not want to be evaluated by emergency workers, according to the report.

The officer spoke to the witnesses again to try and verify Sweat’s statement. They said they didn’t see the victim push Sweat. From what they saw, the victim was trying to help Sweat stand up from the curb. They said Sweat was yelling very loudly, which is what attracted their attention, and then they saw her push the victim, the report said.

Surveillance video from the store showed the couple standing in the parking lot, facing each other, and Sweat pushing the victim to the ground. She’s then observed walking away from the location.

Sweat was charged with domestic battery on a person 65 years of age or older and taken to the Marion County Jail. She was released Friday on her own recognizance and awaits a July 16 date in Marion County Court.