Summerfield man jailed after elderly woman reports attack at bus stop

James Paul Spada

A Summerfield man is behind bars in the Marion County Jail after a nasty scuffle with an elderly woman after she picked up his backpack at a bus stop.

When deputies arrived at the Summerfield residence, 47-year-old James Paul Spada was exiting the home and appeared to be “upset.” He was placed in handcuffs and uttered that he was in possession of a “one-hitter” pipe that he uses to smoke marijuana, which was in his sock. Deputies located the pipe and a green leafy substance that field-tested positive for marijuana.

The victim told deputies she woke up to Spada throwing up in the bathroom. She said she told him to go outside and get some fresh air, packed him lunch and put it in his book bag. She said Sapa then went outside and waited for a bus to take him to a methadone clinic, a sheriff’s office report states.

The victim said she went outside and told Spada he didn’t have to ride the bus because of fears of the Coronavirus. She said she picked up his backpack and he became upset and ran toward her and snatched it from her, the report says.

The victim claimed Spada grabbed her by the arm in her shoulder area and threw her to the ground, causing her to strike her face on the pavement. She said he charged toward her again and she slapped him, as she “was in fear for her safety and the touching was unwanted,” the report says.

Two witnesses reported hearing a loud scream and seeing Spada standing over the woman. One said she was on her side, crying and upset, while the other said he heard Spada apologize to her.

After being read his rights, Spada told the deputies that he doesn’t have a marijuana card and consumes the drug for personal use. He said he had been vomiting earlier in the day because he hadn’t consumed methadone. He said the woman gave him some medicine for his stomach and started “nagging” him and told him to exit the residence, the report says.

He said once outside the residence, the victim “ran toward him and grabbed his bag.” He said she slapped him on his right cheek area and wouldn’t let go of his bag. He said the strap on the bag eventually broke and she fell to the ground, at which point he walked away, the report says, adding that Spada denied striking the woman.

Deputies noted that the area around the victim’s eye had several bloody scratches, her eye/cheek area was swollen and she had flaky skin on her left wrist area. A computer checked also showed that sheriff’s deputies had responded to the same residence on March 9 in reference to a disturbance. During that incident, the woman claimed Spada was on drugs and she was in fear.

Spada was placed under arrest and transported to the Marion County Jail, where he was charged with domestic battery on a person 65 years of age or older, possession of marijuana not more than 20 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was being held on $3,000 bond and is due in court April 28 at 9 a.m. to answer to the charges.

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