Five Madison County, Illinois men locked up, facing charges of felony mob action for the beating of three people in a Walmart parking lot. It happened Sunday night in Godfrey.
Deputies say two of the victims, boyfriend and girlfriend, were in the store shopping when they came across some of the suspects, with whom they had what is described as an “ongoing dispute.”
The pair exchanged words with the men, but the altercation was broken up by store employees, who asked them all to leave. The couple sought out the young woman’s step father, who walked with them outside, hoping to prevent any more trouble.
But authorities say the suspects followed, and were joined outside by others.
“The indication is there could have been as many as 15 or 20 people associated with this gathering,” Madison County Sheriff’s Department Captain Mike Dixon said.
That’s when the fight broke out, with the couple and the step father all suffering what deputies call minor injuries, including cuts and bruises.
Deputies were called and the suspects were found fairly quickly at one of the men’s homes.
Lucas Chestnut, 18, of Alton, Tyler Darnell, 17, of Godfrey, Cody Lee, 17, of Godfrey, Jeffrey Dallas, 20, of Caseyville, and James Allensworth, 18, of Godfrey were all arrested.
Captain Dixon says they’ve not been able to determine what the source of the altercation was, but says there’s no need for Walmart shoppers in the area to be concerned about going to the store.
“This is a situation that has brewing for some time,” Dixon said. “There’s an ongoing problem between this group. It isn’t as if people participating or going to that Walmart or shopping at this Walmart should have any fears associated with this incident.”