Man charged with aggravated assault in baseball bat attack

Richard Chestnut

Booking photo courtesy of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office


A Griffin man, 59-year-old Richard Wayne Chestnut, has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault for allegedly attacking family members with a baseball bat.

Master Patrol Officer Geoffrey Zimbleman, of the Griffin Police Department, on Friday responded to a domestic dispute call on E. College Street, where he met with the complainant, 83-year-old Betty Hewitt, who stated she needed help with her son, Rickard “Dickie” Chestnut, whom she described as an alcoholic.

“She (Hewitt) stated that her step-daughter, Ms. Valerie Green, had come over to the house and an argument broke out. Ms. Hewitt tried to intervene and said that she was punched in the back of the head by her son, who then ran off into the woods,” Zimbleman reported, later adding that Green reported she had come over to check on her step-mother, and that when she arrived, she found Hewitt cleaning Chestnut’s bedroom and bathroom.

“Dickie arrived and walked upstairs, drunk and belligerent, cursing them both out. An argument ensued, and Dickie began to be increasingly aggressive. Ms. Green stated that she heard Mrs. Hewitt tell Dickie that he was no longer welcome in her house unless he got help for his drinking,” Zimbleman said. “Ms. Hewitt came downstairs to join Ms. Green in the kitchen where she had gone to get away from Mr. Chestnut, but Mr. Chestnut had already followed and punched her in the side of the head. Fearing for their safety, Ms. Hewitt grabbed a baseball bat she keeps in her room for protection, but Dickie took it from her in a drunken rage, cursing, and swinging it wildly. Ms. Green stated that it happened so fast, she ducked her head as Dickie swung the bat, she did not know if he punched her or hit her with the bat as well.”

According to Zimbleman, Green said she was uncertain if Chestnut had punched her or struck her with the bat.

Zimbleman reported observing and feeling golf ball-sized knots on the side and back of Hewitt’s and Green’s heads where they indicated they were struck.

As GPD officers were investigating this domestic violence report, they became aware that Chestnut had gotten back inside the residence and was upstairs in his bedroom, where he was taken into custody and transported to the Spalding County Jail.

Zimbleman obtained warrants against Chestnut for two counts aggravated assault and two counts of battery under the Georgia Family Violence Act – one count of each for Hewitt and Green.

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