Friday, October 12, 2012

TOP STORY >> Guilty plea in attack

Leader staff writer

A 69-year-old Little Rock man accused of attacking a bank employee with a cane Wednesday at First Arkansas Bank and Trust has pleaded guilty to felony second-degree battery at Jacksonville District Court.

But John Martin’s plea may not matter if he is handed over to the Pulaski County Circuit Court.

As of Friday afternoon, he was being held at the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility on a $50,000 bond.

The district court’s prosecuting attorney will review Martin’s case on Jan. 2.

According to the police report, officers arrived at the 600 W. Main St. branch at 10 a.m.

Phillip Carlisle, 57, a financial adviser at the bank, told them that Martin struck the right side of his face with a wooden axe handle that the elderly man was using as a cane.

According to the report, Martin became upset while Carlisle was assisting him with his account, which had been closed.

Martin allegedly walked into the bank and said, “You stole my money,” when Carlisle asked how he could help Martin.

Carlisle responded, “I don’t even know who you are,” according to the report.

The financial consultant told Martin that the remaining balance had been mailed to him and turned his computer toward the customer to show Martin the account records, according to the report.

That is when Martin allegedly swung the axe at Carlisle.

Carlisle told police that he pushed grabbed Martin and pushed him against the window in the office after taking the blow.

They wrestled in the office until several bank employees and construction workers arrived and separated Martin from Carlisle, according to the report.

The West Main Street branch is being renovated.

While the police were at the bank, Martin also stepped on and broke Carlisle’s eyeglasses, according to the report.

Martin said he did approach Carlisle with the intention of causing physical harm, but he claimed he did not hit the financial consultant with the cane. A witness said she saw the customer strike Carlisle with what she thought at the time was a baseball bat, according to the report.

Both Martin and Carlisle were taken to North Metro Medical Center. A large portion of the right side of the financial consultant’s face was red and he complained of head pain, according to the report.

Martin had injuries to his right eyebrow, right arm, right hand, left arm and left hand.