Suspect Accused Of Assaulting Handicapped Person

A 62 year-old person is in custody accused of assaulting a Smithfield man who is confined to a wheelchair.

The bizarre incident happened Tuesday at the victim’s home on North Street.

Police said the 42 year-old handicapped man was outside his residence when Jerome D. Pratt of North Seventh Street approached him.  Pratt was pushing a shopping cart that had been reported stolen from a grocery store on North Brightleaf Boulevard.  Pratt demanded the victim buy clothing items in the cart however the victim refused.

That’s when police allege Pratt pulled out a box cutter and threatened to cut the victims throat.

Police were called and found Pratt still in the man’s yard. Pratt was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and for larceny of the shopping cart. Officers also seized over 120 syringes found in Pratt’s possession. The stolen shopping cart was also recovered by police.