June 9, 2014. On the evening of Friday, June 6, 2014, several officers with the Boone Police Department were assigned to the King Street area because of the Art Crawl event and recent complaints from individuals about incidents in the parking lot in between Murphy’s and Mellow Mushroom.
At approximately 6:50 p.m., a verbal dispute began between the on-duty LMS parking lot attendant James Faron Cooke, 57, and a woman that had a wheel boot applied to her vehicle while visiting a nearby business. This woman and her two young children were visiting Boone from Florida.
She was very unhappy about the circumstance and her argument was based on the lack of signage in the parking lot. Cooke and the woman both raised their voices at times during this dispute, but neither party used any profanity or abusive language. Cooke explained many times that she was parked in a private lot and at one point Cooke told the woman that if her vehicle was still there in two hours that the vehicle would be towed and she would then owe more money to cover the tow bill.
A citizen named, Charles Brady III, was walking by and observed this verbal dispute. Brady stated that he saw an agitated man involved in a dispute with a woman and two small children. Brady called the woman out of the parking lot and away from Cooke. Brady then began explaining the town ordinance concerning vehicle booting to her. Cooke became angry and shoved Brady. At the time of this assault, Brady was standing on the public sidewalk between the parking lot and Water Street.
Cooke shoved Brady towards the street. Officers witnessed this assault. Officers immediately responded and took Cooke into custody for assaulting Brady.
Cooke was transported to the Magistrate’s office and was charged with one count of Misdemeanor Simple Assault. Cooke was allowed to sign a written promise to appear in District Court on July 30, 2014.
Just last month the Boone Town Council heard from a LMS representative, citizens and Boone Police officials about parking issues leading to altercations.