After an altercation that resulted in longtime NASCAR driver Mike Wallace and his daughter being put in the hospital, a North Carolina landscaping company is taking the heat.
On Friday, June 17, Wallace and his daughter, Lindsey Wallace Van Wingerden, were leaving a Rascal Flatts concert when they were allegedly assaulted by three men in the parking lot of the PNC Amphitheater in Charlotte.
According to the police report, there was a verbal altercation before the fight. Wallace told WSOCTV.com that he spoke to someone in the parking lot asking, “How did you like the show?”
It was then, he said, that a group of people started screaming at him.
“That’s all I remember,” Wallace told WBTV. “The only part I remember of it is saying ‘Man, what’s your problem, what’s going on?’”
Kenny Wallace, Mike’s brother and fellow NASCAR driver, told USA Today that the men continued to beat and kick his brother after he fell unconscious.
Wallace’s daughter tried to intervene to protect him, but she ended up getting attacked as well.
The NASCAR driver’s injuries included a black eye, a cut lip that required stiches, and three front teeth that were knocked a few inches into his mouth. Ms. Van Wingerden was taken away on a stretcher, although her injuries were not listed.
The group of assailants drove off in a truck that listed “Lucas Landscaping – Indian Trails, NC” on the doors, according to Wallace’s Facebook post after the attack.
“We were told on site that the CMPD at the PNC Theater … that they’ve dealt with this group on two or three separate occasions so far this concert season,” Wallace told WSOCTV.com. “The people this happened with are actual contractors with PNC. They’re maintenance crews. Their company provides maintenance and yard landscaping services from what we’re told.”
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department arrested Paul Lucas, 29, on Friday for assault on a female. Nathan Lucas, 22, and Randolph Mangum, 24, were arrested on Saturday for simple assault. All three were released on bond and will appear in court on July 22.
After Wallace posted a Facebook status about the attack, along with photos of himself and his daughter, an outpouring of angry tweets began.
Kenny Wallace tweeted: “I’ve talked to Mike this morning. He is down in the dumps. Beat up badly and can’t see out of one eye. I WILL MAKE SURE THIS MAKES NEWS!!!!”
Other NASCAR enthusiasts began to spread the word not to do business with Lucas Lawn and Landscaping.
The company’s account on Yelp is currently under active cleanup alert due to the recent coverage. The website states that it will “remove both positive and negative posts that appear to be motivated more by the news coverage itself than the reviewer’s personal consumer experience with the business.”
Lucas Lawn and Landscaping released a statement since the attack and has said the Wallace family’s social media postings have “resulted in verbal attacks upon our business, suggestions that our clients abandon our company and innuendo regarding our business that we believe is designed to both frustrate the proper administration of justice within our court system and prevent our company from continuing to do business where we employee (sic) over 70 individuals who work hard and depend upon their jobs to support themselves and their families.”
One witness of the fight told WSOCTV.com that the fight had been started by the Wallace family.
“Kenny Wallace has used a public platform to blow this thing up and destroy a family,” said the witness, who wished to remain anonymous.
“Our company takes the actions of its employees, both on and off the clock, seriously and we plan to diligently and appropriately evaluate all of the accurate and undisputed information,” Lucas Lawn and Landscaping said. “However, we respectfully ask that those who rely on social media postings and one sided representations of fact consider the motivations behind those efforts.”
Lucas Lawn and Landscaping goes on in its statement to say that the business was not involved in the incident and asks for a rational and objective assessment of the matter before taking actions that could harm the company and the families that depend on it.