JONESBORO — Clad in a red prison jumpsuit, Joseph Kenneth Arnold dozed as he awaited the start of first appearance hearings in Clayton County Magistrate Court last Wednesday morning.
Arnold is charged with one count of battery and one count of battery of a person age 65 or over. He was arrested Feb. 25 after Forest Park Police deputies tracked him down through a partial license plate number.
Judge Sonyja George granted Arnold $50,000 bond with special conditions: that he stay away from 80-year-old Mary Gardner and her 60-year-old daughter Kathy Malone; that he not return to the Wholesale Food Outlet at 4855 Jonesboro Road in Forest Park; and that he not violate any laws while out on bond.
"Mr Arnold, it says that on Feb. 3, you did intentionally cause physical and bodily physical harm to 80-year-old Mary Gardner when you picked her up out of an electronic shopping cart and threw her to the ground," George said. "This act caused visible injury to Mary's elbow as well as visible loss of some hair, as well as bruising to the area of Mary's stomach on the left side just below her ribcage. It also says that on Feb. 3, you did intentionally cause physical harm to Kathy Malone when you punched her in the face several times. The assault caused swelling to the right side of Kathy's face and abrasion on her right elbow. Do you think you'll be able to make your bond, sir?"
Arnold replied, "Yes, Your Honorable."
George appointed an attorney for Arnold, who waived his preliminary hearing. Chains jingling, Arnold signed his paperwork and was escorted out the side door surrounded by several deputies.
Sheriff Victor Hill and Mayor Angelyne Butler had put up reward money for Arnold's capture. Hill said he will use his portion of the reward money, $2,500, to treat the Forest Park Police detectives to dinner.