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Posted: February 1, 2009 12:00 a.m.

Gun drawn in parking lot fight

Confrontation between boyfriend, ex-boyfriend at hospital

Two men were arrested last week after an altercation at Newton Medical Center led to one man allegedly pulling a gun on the other.

Officers from the Covington Police Department were called to the hospital on Jan. 25 after 8 p.m. upon receiving calls of a suspicious person in a red truck in the parking lot with a gun. When officers arrived they reportedly located the truck and there were two people inside the vehicle.

As they approached the truck the officers noticed the two people inside - a male and a female - arguing and cursing at one another while several children and elderly people stood watching, according to reports. As officers watched they reportedly saw two females attempting to pull out the woman in the truck as she continued to shout and curse - this time at the other women.

The officers instructed the man and woman in the truck to show their hands. The driver, identified as 17-year-old Patrick Rodriguez, was asked to exit the truck, at which time he was detained and questioned about the gun.

Rodriguez reportedly told the officers that the gun was in the truck but that he didn’t point it at anyone. He also allegedly told officers that both the gun and the truck belonged to his boss. According to reports, Rodriguez told officers that he had come to the hospital with his girlfriend to visit her sick great-grandfather. It was then that he realized his girlfriend’s family had also allegedly invited her ex-boyfriend to the hospital as well. He reportedly told officers that when he realized the ex-boyfriend was there, he and his girlfriend attempted to leave the hospital.

According to reports, Rodriguez said that the ex-boyfriend, identified as 21-year-old Matthew Jones, ran to the truck and attempted to open the driver’s side door while cursing at him and allegedly telling him to get out of the truck so they could fight.

Reports indicate that Rodriguez told officers he was concerned for his safety and allegedly took an unloaded pistol from the glove compartment box of the truck and held it on his lap. He said his girlfriend held on to his arm to keep him from exiting the vehicle and getting into an altercation with Jones which, according to reports, Rodriguez said had happened in the past.

Officers spoke with the girlfriend, who confirmed the story Rodriguez had told officers, telling them that when her boyfriend took the 9 mm out of the glove compartment box Jones ran away from the truck and back toward the hospital.

However, Jones told a different tale, reportedly telling officers that he had knocked on the window of the truck with the intention of making peace with Rodriguez at which time the gun was pulled on him.

According to several witnesses that were present at the time - both family members and children - Rodriguez did attempt to leave the hospital in the truck and Jones did attempt to open the door to the vehicle. Rodriguez reportedly jumped out of the truck and the two men began yelling and cursing at one another.

Both men were arrested and transported to the Newton County Detention Center where they were each charged with disorderly conduct.

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