Silver Springs man accused of hitting woman with juice bottle in hotel parking lot

James Taylor Barber

A Silver Springs man is accused of hitting a woman over the head with a bottle during an argument after their family was kicked out of the hotel where they were living.

James Taylor Barber, 38, whose address is listed as the Economy Lodge, 5350 E. Silver Springs Blvd., was charged with simple battery after the incident, which happened around 5 p.m. Tuesday in the parking lot of the neighboring Holiday Inn Express.

The victim told Marion County sheriff’s deputies that she, Barber, and an unnamed family member had been kicked out of the Economy Lodge and they were walking with all their belongings to the Holiday Inn Express parking lot to figure out what they were going to do, according to the sheriff’s office report.

The victim said at one point during the move, one of their carts fell over, and she and Barber started arguing while they were trying to pick up their belongings. She said Barber hit her in the head with a quarter-full juice bottle, but she didn’t think he did it intentionally, the report said.

Barber corroborated the victim’s story. He said he was trying to keep the victim calm and help pick up their belongings when the argument started. Barber said they exchanged insults and he walked over to the victim and hit her in the head with the bottle of juice. He said he immediately regretted the decision and decided to take the other family member for a walk to cool off, according to the report.

The manager of the Holiday Inn Express, who witnessed the incident, said the family walked onto the hotel property and appeared to be homeless. He said he saw Barber walk up to the victim, put his arm on her shoulder, squeeze her neck and yell into her face. The manager said Barber then charged towards the victim and hit her in the face with a big bottle, the report said.

Barber was arrested and taken to the Marion County Jail, where he was released Thursday on his own recognizance. He’s due to appear in Marion County Court on Feb. 18.