RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Police responded to shots fired along Belvidere and West Broad Streets on Thursday morning around 10:30 a.m.
A woman told police she shot her firearm in self-defense after a man assaulted her with a metal chair outside of Jamaica House restaurant. The two individuals engaged in a verbal altercation prior to the assault.
After being struck by the chair, the woman took off down the street, driving on the wrong side of the road as she pursued her assailant. VCU police pulled her over.
The incident remains under investigation, but 8News spoke with Jamaica House’s owner Carena Ives to get her perspective on the violence that occurred right outside her storefront window. She said enough is enough, and wants to see change.
“We are now experiencing violence in our community at a tremendous rate that is just unprecedented,” Ives said. “It just doesn’t make any sense anymore.”
Ives was appalled to learn her business’s brightly colored patio furniture was used in the assault.
“Unbelievable that a metal patio chair could be employed to use to viciously assault someone,” she said.
As a business owner, Ives said she cares for her employees and is outraged at the rampant violence and aggression in the community. She said she wants her employees and customers to feel safe at her establishment — or at any establishment in the area.
“I don’t want to live in a society where I’m fearful for the life of my employees, for my customers,” Ives said. “My customers should feel absolutely free, relaxed, safe to come in and enjoy a meal.”
Richmond Police identified the man suspected of assaulting the woman as 29-year-old Mark Banks, of Richmond. Banks has been charged with malicious wounding. Police said that no other injuries were reported, and other charges are possible as the investigation continues.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney also called for change on Wednesday afternoon, and cited the increased crime rate in urban environments as a problem.
“I’m telling you right now we need more,” Stoney said. “More policies to keep people safe.”