CAROLINA BEACH — A husband and wife face legal repercussions after engaging in a fight on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk over the weekend.
Carolina Beach residents Johnny Arnette, 70, and Robin Arnette, 57, both face one count of assault and battery after a victim pressed charges.
Police responded to calls of a fight in progress at 6:38 p.m. on June 4. According to Carolina Beach Police Sgt. Colby Edens, the altercation turned physical following a parking dispute that the couple had hours earlier with the victim, who does not live in Carolina Beach.
“I haven’t read the full report yet,” Edens said. “I don’t know what the previous parking dispute was about.”
Edens said he also didn’t know if alcohol was involved in the incident.
He said the two parties crossed paths again later in the day and started yelling back and forth before it escalated into a multi-person brawl. After talking to witnesses and obtaining video evidence from the public, the police determined the victim was acting in self-defense and brought charges against the Arnettes for instigating the fight.
A video, posted on Facebook, went viral on Sunday and shows Johnny hit the victim first while he was standing in close proximity to two small children in front of the Sea-Ray boat ride. The victim fought back, knocking Johnny to the ground.
The video shows the victim helped Johnny to his feet and attempted to quash the fight. Once up, Johnny swung at the victim again. The two continued throwing punches until the victim flipped Johnny over his shoulder to the ground.
During a moment in the video, when the victim was speaking to Johnny, Robin ran up and punched the victim in the face. The victim did not strike back.
Four people endeavored to break up the altercation, the video shows, and a woman told Robin to stop as she attempted to kick the victim. Robin was then subsequently shoved to the ground by a bystander, but returned to her feet and continued swinging at the victim.
People tried to intervene again after Johnny threw another punch at the victim as he was trying to talk to the couple.
The Arnettes retreated as more people tried to break up the fight. The video shows the victim comforting two children as they hugged his legs.
Sargent Edens confirmed if the couple is found guilty of assault and battery, they face a Class 2 misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The investigation is ongoing.
Reach journalist Brenna Flanagan at email@example.com.