Women accused of starting fight in Walmart speak out

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) – An update on a brawl that broke out at a Colonial Heights Walmart store earlier this month. The people accused of starting the fight are now speaking out.

The brawl involved seven people including an eleven year old girl. Earlier this week the alleged victims told us they were randomly attacked by a group of women while grocery shopping. Today, those women say, there's much more to the story.

The women ask we not reveal their identities out of fear of retaliation. They say the fight started when one of the alleged victim's pushed and yelled a racial slur at their eleven year old loved one, who was standing in the center of an aisle.

"They started harassing a child. I was in a wheelchair. I got up out of the wheelchair and said what did you call her and he said (expletive/racial slur) you better get out of my face," said one of the women.

A verbal argument erupted.

"He was like why don't you come outside then and I was like okay," said one of the women.

At some point the little girl's mother and three of her female friends ended up at the front of the store with the alleged victims, Traci Hamilton and her boyfriend.

"Hamilton grabbed my shirt. She drew back like she was going to hit me and natural reaction I hit her first," said one of the women.

The women say Hamilton's boyfriend jumped in the fight and so did they.

"Legally words can never justify a physical assault," said NBC 12 Analyst Steve Benjamin.

Benjamin says if someone invites a fight and ends up on the losing end there's no assault if reasonable force is used.

"If someone takes you up on the invitation and strikes you, they're not guilty of assault because you invited the conduct," said Benjamin.

A number of customers witnessed the incident. Hamilton says no one helped. Benjamin says legally, witnesses are not obligated to intervene. Both sides agree bad decisions were made that night.

"I wish none of this happened at all," said one of the women.

Benjamin says no one is at fault because both sides used bad judgment and engaged in what appears to be mutual combat. The entire incident is under investigation by police.

One of the ladies in that group admits she had a licensed gun in a holster during the incident but says she never took it out. Hamilton says she never used in racial slurs.

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