Zina Dean Tackett, 52
CHURCH HILL — Church Hill police arrested a woman after she allegedly struck a vehicle with a shopping buggy at the Food City parking, and then told police she’d been run over.
Zina Dean Tackett, 52, 175 Speedwell Church Road, Bulls Gap, was arrested Wednesday on a warrant charging her with felony filing a false report stemming from an incident that occurred last week.
On Oct. 7 shortly before 10 a.m. CHPD Officer Chip Whitaker was dispatched to Food City parking lot on a complaint of a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle.
Upon his arrival Whitaker met Tackett, who was sitting in her vehicle in a parking space.
“She stated that as she was pushing her buggy out to her vehicle an elderly male, later identified as George Winniger, struck her with his truck,” Whitaker said. “(Tackett) stated that the impact knocked her to her knees and that she was having back, neck and hip pain.”
Church Hill EMS responded to the scene, and Tackett was transported to the Holston Valley Medical Center Emergency room.
Whitaker later watched the incident, which happened at 9:25 p.m. that morning, on store parking lot surveillance video.
“The video shows Winniger coming up through a parking row at the same time Tackett was pushing her buggy out into the parking area,” Whitaker said. “Tackett hesitated as Winniger approached, and Winniger, thinking she had stopped, continued on. At this time Tackett pushed the buggy out into the path of Winniger, who was able to stop.”
Whitaker added, “Then Tackett backed up, and as Winniger began to proceed on, she took the buggy and struck the right front fender flare of Winniger's pickup. According to the video, at no time was the defendant struck or knocked to the ground.”
Video showed that after the incident Winniger parked his truck, got out and looked at the scuff on his fender caused by Tackett’s buggy, and then went into the store without confronting Tackett.
Whitaker said the video shows Tackett unloading her groceries into her car and putting her buggy away, after which she drives around the parking lot a couple of times, and then parks again in the same spot.
That’s when Tackett calls 911.
After Tackett had been taken away by the ambulance Winniger exited the store where Whitaker was waiting for him.
Whitaker said he already had a gut feeling there was something wrong with Tackett’s story when he relayed it to Winniger.
Winniger was adamant that he hadn’t struck the woman.
“He said, ‘She hit me with her buggy. Do you think I’d hit a woman and just walk into the store?’,” Whitaker said. “That was when I went to watch the video.”
Whitaker added, “I don’t know if her motive was an insurance scam, or if she wanted to get pain medication from the hospital, but it was blatantly obvious by the video that she lied about what happened.”
Tackett was released on bond from the Hawkins County Jail Thursday, and is scheduled for arraignment Monday in Sessions Court.