SALEM, Mass. — A complaint that an impatient driver struck a pedestrian in the Market Basket parking lot on Highland Avenue, sending him sprawling and then to the hospital, resulted in no arrests yesterday.
A woman using a cane, walking with her son, told police she was subjected to a driver beeping the horn and shouting, “Get out of the way!” According to the log, the woman told police “she and the others were walking slow, but only because they had to.” The woman added that her son began to chastise the driver, who then plowed into him, knocking him to the ground.
The woman driver told a different story, however. She agreed that the son “began screaming at her” and shouted curses, according to the police log. But he also stood in her path and refused to move. She backed up her gray sedan a few feet and attempted to go around him. But, according to the log, “He stepped forward and put himself purposely in front of her vehicle.” The woman said she stopped and was nowhere near him. It was then that the son “slammed his hand onto her hood and then threw himself backwards onto the ground,” according to the log.
Waving his arms, the son called for an ambulance, the driver told police. “Then he reached into his pocket, pulled out a cigarette and started smoking it.” She added, “He’s a faker.”
Police located a witness, a Market Basket employee who told them she had seen the entire incident while on break, her attention drawn by the yelling. She told police that she saw the driver back up and attempt to move past the man, who responded with a “step to his left” in order to “purposely place himself in front of” the car. She did not see the sedan strike the man.
“It looked as if he just jumped backwards and put himself down to the ground. I don’t think she hit him,” she told police.
The Salem Fire Department and Atlantic Ambulance treated the man. He was put in a neck brace but was reported to have said, “Forget it. It doesn’t hurt. I don’t want the neck brace.”
Police searched unsuccessfully for a video camera that would have caught the incident. A nurse at Salem Hospital told police, “It doesn’t appear as if he has any obvious signs of trauma.”
Based on the witness statement, police declined to charge the driver.