Sumter County plant erupts in violence

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 11, 2005

Tempers recently boiled over at a York plant causing two men to be jailed and another hospitalized. Sumter County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call at Mannington Wood Flooring where they found workers Justin Michale Haire and Deon Derrick Jackson in a physical altercation with their supervisor Julius Watson.

Deputies broke up the fight and charged Haire and Jackson with assault, second degree against Watson. Soon after the incident the two were released on $5,000 bond.

Things were not that easy for Watson, who was transported to a nearby hospital for injuries. Wastson’s injuries were serious enough for his admittance.

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Sumter County Sheriff Johnny Hatter said this was a case of people losing their head and taking the law into their own hands. Hatter said everyone has problems in the workplace, but there is a right and wrong way to solve them.

“If you encounter a problem in the workplace, or anywhere else, do not take the law into your own hands,” Hatter said. “Contact the proper authority and let the problem be solved through the court system be it criminal, civil, juvenile or probate.”

Problems leading to violence in the workplace are not uncommon, but can be prevented. The United States Department of Labor offers these tips to look for to catch a problem before it can start.

Unreasonable; They constantly make slighting references to others. They are never happy with what is going on. They are consistently unreasonable.

Controlling; They consider themselves as being superior. They feel a need to constantly force their opinion on others. They have a compulsive need to control others.

Paranoid; They think other employees are out to get them. They think there is a conspiracy to all functions of society. They are essentially paranoid.

Power Freaks; They may own firearms and have interests in military, law enforcement or underground military groups.

Irresponsible; They don’t take responsibility for any of their behaviors or faults or mistakes, it’s always someone else’s fault.

Litigious; They may take legal action against the company, constantly filing one grievance after another. They blow everything out of proportion.

Angry; They have many hate and anger issues on and off the job, whether it is with co-workers, family, friends, or the government.

Violent; They applaud certain violent acts portrayed in the media such as racial incidences, domestic violence, shooting sprees, executions etc. They may have had trouble with the law, even just a minor incident.

Vindictive; They make statements like “he will get his” or “what comes around goes around” or ” one of these days I’ll have my say”.

Odd; They very well can be good at what they do, paying attention to the details, but lack people skills. Their presence makes others feel uneasy

Unhealthy; They might be experiencing sleep disorders, fatigue, sudden weight loss or weight gain or other health related problems. They might be addicted to alcohol, prescription or street drugs.