Deputies arrested a 38-year-old Pickton man accused of injuring a teen during an argument Tuesday evening.
Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office communications operators dispatched deputies at 6:17 p.m. Nov. 3 to a Pickton address, where the man was alleged to have engaged in a physical disturbance with a juvenile.
When HCSO Deputies Aaron Chaney and Nick Marney arrived, they contacted Johnny Lee Speed, who reported a 15-year-old with mental disabilities had started a fire on the back part of the residence using gas and plastic bottles, and tried to blow up an aerosol can. Two other children, upon returning from the area of the fire, claimed the 15-year-old started the fire on a “back property,” Speed reportedly told deputies.
Speed admitted to becoming agitated due to the danger the teen put himself and other children in. Speed claimed when he went to put the fire out, the 15-year-old ran home, enter the residence and locked the door. He attempted to talk to the teen at the door, and eventually the teen opened it, the 38-year-old recounted to deputies. During an argument, the teen allegedly punched the wall next to Speed. Speed claimed he struck the teen in the face with his hand in the doorway because he thought the teen was trying to hit him, Chaney and Marney alleged in arrest reports.
Deputies said Speed told them he then tried to leave but was confronted by the child again. The teen and Speed “were in each other’s faces,” then the teen pushed him. Speed said he pushed back and walked home, deputies noted in arrest reports.
Deputies talked to the child’s parent and witnesses, who told a similar story. They alleged that the 15-year-old had been unsupervised and started the fire. The teen allegedly became scared of getting in trouble for starting the fire and ran to the residence. Witnesses alleged Speed banged on the teen’s front door, trying to confront the youth about the fire.
The man and teen reportedly argued when the door was opened. The teen also was reported by witnesses to have punched the side of the house. Speed allegedly responded by stepping up into the front doorway inside the residence and striking the child in the face. The child allegedly became emotional and stepped outside and began yelling at the man, telling him to go home.
Speed and the youth “got into each other’s faces again.” Speed allegedly shoved the teen, causing the child to trip on the bottom of the porch steps and fall,. The 15-year-old allegedly had apparent minor injuries on the face and a small abrasion on one shoulder, consistent with an altercation and face striking the front door during a fall, deputies said they were told by witnesses.
The parent allegedly advised her 15-year-old has mental, emotional and behavioral health diagnoses, which include a “mental mind set of an elementary school age child.”
Based on the accounts of the incident and the man’s knowledge that the youth has mental disabilities when he engaged in the altercation, Speed was arrested at 8:14 p.m. on an injury to a child, elderly or disabled person charge, according to reports. An emergency protective order was requested on the victim’s behalf, according to arrest reports.
Speed remained in Hopkins County jail Wednesday, Nov. 4. Bond on the felony charge was set at $5,000, according to jail reports.
The Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office is located at 298 Rosemont St., Sulphur Springs, TX 75482. Non-emergency calls can be made to (903) 438-4040.