Tree Service Employee Accused of Assaulting Fort Mill Man; Victim is Knocked Unconscious & Rushed to Hospital
Zachary “AK” Rector was charged Saturday on Saturday with first degree assault and battery charges on a resident of Friendfield Drive in Fort Mill.
UPDATES (IN BOLD) Indicate that the victim’s injuries could be life threatening
An arborist out of town was arrested Saturday for allegedly assaulting a Fort Mill man who complained about his work on a neighbor’s yard.
Zachary “AK” Rector, 22, of Lexington, NC, was charged on the first degree of assault and battery charges against 66-year-old Edward Bearden Jr. of Friendfield Drive, Fort Mill.
Before, afterwards tree clearing at 107 Friendfield Drive. The victim’s property is right behind the driveway.
Witnesses say an argument quickly escalated on Friendfield Drive on Saturday afternoon when Bearden walked out of his home. He was reportedly upset that the neighbor removed a large Bradford Pear tree in his yard. According to witnesses, he also yelled about the tree removal company and the location of their equipment and tools.
At one point Bearden approached a supervisor in a truck and got into an argument with the worker, who is disabled and cannot walk. The principal reportedly saw the argument and stepped inside to prevent the neighbor from fighting the paralyzed worker. Then the rector is said to have repeatedly hit the neighbor.
What The next event isn’t clear, but the tree-care company’s owner claims that Bearden ran away, stumbled in his own backyard, and hit his head on some rocks. The victim was reportedly knocked out.
According to a police report, Bearden was transported by EMS to the Piedmont Medical Center.
The homeowner told The Fort Mill Sun that they heard Rector verbally admit that he struck the victim five times, the last four of which came while the victim was on the ground.
The homeowner said the tree crew returned to work after the attack, leaving Bearden unconscious in a brush on the floor and bleeding profusely from three wounds on his head.
“The “disabled” man in the truck was in the driver’s seat and when I asked him what happened, he shrugged and just kept smoking, ”said the homeowner. “I yelled at him to call 911.“
Bearden remains in hospital with serious, life-threatening injuries, the homeowner said.
An arborist who identified only as Brenda told The Fort Mill Sun that Bearden “wanted to keep fighting.”
“The man approached the vehicle and called us all stupid,” said Brenda. “The tree wasn’t far from this man’s yard. … It had nothing to do with being there. “
A call to Bearden went unanswered on Monday and Tuesday.
The principal stayed in York County Jail on Tuesday morning on a $ 15,000 loan. The tree care company is based in Lexington, NC