A battle that erupted early Tuesday morning in the parking lot of an Ocala Wal-Mart over a lost EBT card ended with an Ocala couple behind bars.
Ocala Police officers were called to the store, located at 4980 E Silver Springs Blvd., and when they arrived, they were told by an employee that a man and woman had been involved in a physical altercation in the parking lot. The employee said they were last seen walking toward a nearby Circle K store.
Officers then located the couple – 42-year-old Dewey Lee Dodgen and 34-year-old Leah Marie Weaver – and brought them back to the Wal-Mart. Dodgen told officers that a verbal confrontation had taken place and during the course of the argument, they both attempted to hit each other, a sheriff’s office report states.
Weaver told officers that she and Dodgen “got in each other’s face” while yelling and he slapped her face. She said that as a result of that, she defended herself by shoving Dodgen, the report says.
Dodgen then told an officer that he attempted to slap Weaver but didn’t make contact. He said she pushed him but claimed that pushed “isn’t physical contact.” And he couldn’t tell officers whether he was shoved first or attempted to slap Weaver first, the report says.
Officers then spoke with the Wal-Mart employee a second time. She said she saw Weaver shove Dodgen “about six times in the chest and facial region” before they both walked away from the store, the report says.
Both Dodgen and Weaver, who said they were a couple and lived in the same residence, were taken into custody and transported to the Marion County Jail. Dodgen was charged with domestic battery and held on no bond. His next court date hasn’t yet been set.
Weaver also was charged with domestic battery, as well as a probation violation on a charge of driving with license suspended or revoked. She also was being held on no bond and her next court date hasn’t yet been set.
Neither Dodgen nor Weaver are strangers to the Marion County legal system. He has been held in the jail four times since June 2014 on charges of resisting recovery of property from a commercial theft, use or possession of drug paraphernalia, grand theft and driving while license suspended or revoked. And she has been held in the jail eight times since April 2014 on a litany of charges, including an arrest on Aug. 4 for a probation violation on a petit theft charge and an April 16 arrest for failure to appear in court on a charge of driving with license suspended or revoked and violation of a pretrial release on a grand theft charge. Both of those arrests stemmed from charges filed in Volusia County.