By Beth Lawrence
A Jackson County man thought to be the victim in a recent assault might be a little more culpable in the altercation than originally thought, authorities say.
Wayne Jerry Mathis, 57, of Tuckasegee was arrested for misdemeanor assault on a female and injury to personal property for allegedly assaulting Rachel Annaleah Jones.
The warrant is signed by Magistrate Kathrine Millsaps; it appears that Jones swore out a cross complaint against Mathis for the incident that took place on Feb 9.
Jones, 26, of Cullowhee was arrested on Feb. 9 after she purportedly attacked Mathis and his wife Tracy Filkins Mathis with a tire iron during a fight in the parking lot of the Jackson County Recreation Complex in Cullowhee sending him to the hospital. She was arrested for one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and one misdemeanor count of assault with a deadly weapon.
At the time of the incident Maj. Shannon Queen would not say what preceded the attack with the tire iron, but according to the warrant for Mathis’ arrest, Jones claims that he struck her, grabbed the collar of her shirt and shoved her against her vehicle. Jones also alleges that Mathis damaged the tires on her SUV.
A 911 call from a woman claiming to be Mathis’ wife alleges that he initiated the altercation, but Jones escalated it to a physical attack.
The caller claims that “she,” presumably Jones, stopped the vehicle on a curve and was confronted by a man, presumably Wayne Mathis.
“He pulled the door open,” the caller said. “She jumped out of the vehicle, and he was mad that I was sitting there with her. She took a tire iron and hit him straight in the head and then hit me in the back of the head.”
A second call to 911, apparently from Tracy Mathis, revealed more details. Names are redacted from the 911 transcripts.
The caller asks for emergency aid at the recreation center parking lot and begins to tell dispatch what took place.
Wayne Mathis suffered a laceration to the head and was airlifted to Mission Hospital.
District Attorney Ashley Welch declined to say whether the charges against Jones could now be considered self-defense given the complaint against Mathis or if they would be dropped or reduced.
“Under the State Bar rules I cannot give details of pending cases,” Welch said.
The February incident was not the first run-in between the families. In a December altercation, Jones was the victim.
Tracy Mathis was arrested for punching Jones.
Tracy Mathis was charged with simple assault in that case, Queen said.