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2 laundry workers get steamed as gun is pulled in workplace brawl

A workplace dispute at a Fayetteville business last week led to the arrests of two coworkers. And for one, the incident resulted in a host of charges, including aggravated assault. The dispute began over clothes at a local dry cleaners and quickly escalated to a physical assault.

Melinda James, 53, of Atlanta, was charged with aggravated assault, battery, carrying a concealed weapon, obstruction, pointing a weapon at others, reckless conduct and using fighting words, according to Fayetteville Police Det. Jeff Harris.

Also charged with battery, fighting in public and using fighting words was 40-year-old Riverdale resident Adelina Brovo-Ricardes, Harris said.

Harris said the incident occurred July 22 as the two women were at work at the cleaners. They got into a verbal dispute over clothing, Harris said, adding that the incident soon led to both women later admitting that they pushed, shoved and slapped each other and called the other names. At one point during the altercation James pushed Brovo-Ricardes down onto the floor, injuring her left shoulder, Harris said.

James then left the building and took a gun from her car, then brought it back into the business, said Harris, noting that she then pointed the gun at Brovo-Ricardes and said, “I’m going to kill you, m-f-.”

Harris said it was at that point that Brovo-Ricardes ran out of the store, telling the clerk on duty that James had a gun.

Fayetteville Police got involved the following day when Brovo-Ricardes called about the incident. Harris said officers arriving at the scene noticed Brovo-Ricardes’ arm in a sling and observed that she appeared to be in pain relating to the injury to her left shoulder. An ambulance was called and the woman was transported for evaluation.

When questioned by officers about her part in the incident James at first lied about the weapon, though officers later found it on the premises, said Harris. The gun was loaded, Harris said.

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