NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas mother veered into oncoming traffic and drove into the 15-year-old son of a woman she stole from two years ago, then fled in her SUV before police arrived, authorities said.
Melissa Greer, 40, was arrested at her home Wednesday, hours after a witness says she intentionally swerved across the street, over the curb and into Jason Woodworth, who was walking home from North Little Rock High School, where he is freshmen classmates with Greer’s son. The collision left Jason with a broken collarbone, concussion, and gash in his neck that required 18 stitches, his mother, Roxanne Woodworth, said Friday.
“It’s overwhelming,” she said, before directing further questions to her attorney.
Greer, 40, was arraigned Thursday on a second-degree battery charge and was released from Pulaski County Jail on $17,500 bond Friday evening. North Little Rock police spokesman Sgt. Terry Kuykendall said it wasn’t clear if Greer had an attorney as of her release. A phone message left at her home Friday seeking comment was not immediately returned.
According to the police report, a witness said it appeared Greer deliberately drove across the road, over the curb and about 5 feet into a patch of grass where the boy was walking. After hitting him, she drove to the next intersection before turning around and passing by Jason again before fleeing.
Authorities ran the SUV’s license plate and went to Greer’s house. She wasn’t home, but her freshman son was there. According to police, he told officers that he knew why his mother ran into his classmate: She stole Roxanne Woodworth’s credit card and the two women had a falling out.
Court records show that Greer used Woodworth’s credit card in 2009 to charge somewhere between $500 and $2,500 worth of goods from Home Depot and Target. She pleaded no contest last year to a charge of theft by receiving and dodged charges of theft of property and fraudulent use of a credit card or debit card. A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but is treated as such for sentencing purposes.
On Wednesday, Greer pulled up to her home in the same SUV that police say she used to hit Woodworth. Its front left light was damaged, as was another panel of the vehicle, according to the police report.
She told officers that she knew who she hit and that she “left the scene because she knew that people would say she intentionally struck Woodworth due to all the past problems that they have had,” according to the police report.
Greer had been complaining to school officials that Jason Woodworth had been bullying her son. Shara Brazear, a spokeswoman for the North Little Rock school district, said the school investigated her claims and didn’t find anything to substantiate them.
“He told the assistant principal that he was not bullied,” Brazear said, referring to Greer’s son.
Some time after the alleged hit-and-run and before her arrest, a woman who identified herself as Melissa Greer walked into the offices of The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and told a reporter she wanted to talk about someone bullying her son, the newspaper reported.