A fight about cigarettes led to a Hawthorne man’s arrest Wednesday morning. His girlfriend accused him of punching her in the mouth and knocking out her tooth.
Gainesville Police charged James L. Coney, 52, of 1960 NE 12th Ave., with felony battery, according to a GPD arrest report.
The incident started at about 2 a.m., when Coney and his girlfriend of about nine months, Cheryl Rene Pierce, were on their way back from a birthday party Pierce planned for Coney, Pierce said.
The couple stopped at a Kangaroo Express off Northeast Waldo Road to buy cigarettes.
Inside, Coney wanted Pierce to buy two packs of cigarettes, but she only had enough cash for one.
Coney became mad, Pierce said, and the couple started to argue. The fight continued on the drive to visit Coney’s daughter, who is also Pierce’s cousin, at her apartment on the 3200 block of Southwest 25th Way, Pierce said.
When they arrived, the argument escalated, and Coney punched Pierce twice in the mouth, knocking out one of her front teeth.
“He knocked it out from the root,” she said. “Blood was everywhere, and the tooth was in the bushes.”
Pierce said her cousin was in the bathroom during the incident. After the second punch, Pierce ran into the house and told her cousin to call 911.
When GPD officers arrived, they caught Coney as he tried to run away from the scene, Pierce said.
After his arrest, Coney admitted to police that he punched Pierce, but said she slapped him first.
Police noted that Coney had a 2- to 3-inch cut on his fist and bloodstains on his T-shirt.
At about 8 a.m. Wednesday, officers booked Coney into the Alachua County Jail, where he remained later that evening without bond.
Pierce said she’s still deciding what to do about her tooth after she declined to go to the hospital after the incident.
“It was something I could deal with,” she said, “but it’s hurting.”
Contact Kathryn Varn at email@example.com.