Teen hurt seriously in assault at Wal-Mart

Friday, June 24, 2011

A 16-year-old Nashville girl was seriously injured during an assault at the Lewisburg Wal-Mart Sunday afternoon.

"She had two fractures to her left eye," Jeanetta Hert, the victim's mother, said Thursday. "The hit was equivalent to being hit by a baseball bat, or being slugged by Muhammad Ali."

Tabitha Laoyla Brown, 33, and Symetra Shawnette Brown, 35, both of Lewisburg, were arrested and served with warrants for the alleged aggravated assault.

The teen they allegedly beat, Hailey Hendricks of Nashville, "is still hurting," her mother said, agreeing to publication of her daughter's name. "The doctor said they had to put a titanium plate where the eye rests. It's that bone that's the top of the cheek and below the eye.

"We do not know what her eyesight is going to be," said Hert, who lives at in the vicinity of Murfreesboro Road and Thompson Lane.

Hendricks gets her stitches out this morning at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, her mother said.

Bond for the alleged assailants was set at $7,500 for each woman and they remain jailed, according to a press release from Lewisburg Police Detective Sgt. David Henley.

The assault allegedly occurred inside the store about 3:35 p.m. June 19. The victim was repeatedly struck in the head and face by both Symetra and Tabitha Brown, allegedly as "the result of a verbal exchange between the three," Henley wrote.

The "verbal exchange" was about whether garments adequately covered the backside of one of the alleged assailants, the victim's mother said. She said her daughter asked Tabitha Laoyla Brown to "pull your pants up" and noted children in the public place shouldn't be subjected to such a sight.

The warrants sworn out by Officer John Christmas state that the victim was transported to the emergency room at Marshall Medical Center and later to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital "where she underwent surgery to her left eye."

Hert said her daughter is recovering at home.

The victim's aunt also spoke out about her niece's injuries.

"I believe this deserves to be publicized even more than the latest drug bust or theft," said Kimberly Biggs. "They changed this girl's life forever. Where do we draw the line? Why didn't anyone step in to stop this? Instead, they stand around and enjoy the show."

Symetra and Tabitha Brown are due in City Court on July 18.