Thursday, July 30, 2009
Local Pepsi and Coke Vendor Feud Ends in Disaster
Two local soda vendors ended up in Spartanburg county jail last night after running each others tractor trailers off the road and then fist fighting in the middle of Reidville road yesterday evening. Witnesses said the altercation lasted nearly an hour and ended in police having to use stun guns to separate the two battered and bloody vendors.
Malcolm Poindexter, an employee of Pepsi, and Dennis Rutledge, a Coco-Cola distributor, are both facing charges of assault and battery, malicious damage to public and private property, and public disorderly conduct.
In a telephone interview with Poindexter, he said things had been escalating for quite some time, starting off playfully enough, labeling the price of the others product with extra zeros to begin with, taking the others shelf space, and snagging hand-trucks used to carry product into stores.
"We were just kinda picking on one another, making work more fun it seemed, but he kept having to outdo me, and things got ugly pretty quickly." Poindexter explained.
Dennis Rutledge, the Coca-Cola vendor also made himself available for comment, saying, "We were really good friends, till he made off with a coke machine, getting me in a whole lot of trouble with the boss. I know I shouldn't have slashed his tires for it, but I was so angry."
Poindexter later retaliated by putting an offensive bumper sticker on Rutledge's Coke truck, derogatory towards law enforcement officers, which led to him spending the night in jail a few weeks ago. Rutledge would neither confirm nor deny responsibility for Poindexters subsequent arrest for the armed robbery of a local convenient store, which after 36 hours detainment was discovered to be a case of mistaken identity.
Apparently all this is what led up to the two tractor trailer trucks barreling through one of the busiest roads on the West side of Spartanburg yesterday, injuring seven commuters and putting numerous lives in jeopardy, just before both trucks jack-knifed after crossing the I-26 overpass. The two men are both out on bond and face numerous lawsuits aside from their initial charges.