Man facing charges for assault on 13-year-old

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The owner of a long-established Cape Girardeau business faces assault and drug possession charges following a report that he beat a 13-year-old boy.

Wiliam T. "Tom" Tipton, 49, of 2705 Plymouth Drive in Cape Girardeau posted a $5,000 cash bond Monday evening and was released on condition that he stay at least 500 feet away from the boy. Tipton is the owner of Tipton Linen and Uniform Service, 1415 Independence St., which traces its lineage to a business founded in 1906.

Police began their investigation following a report Sunday from Big River Grandprix, 610 Commercial St., that Tipton had demanded the boy stop driving go-carts, Cape Girardeau Police Cpl. Jason Selzer said.

Witnesses reported that Tipton struck the boy on the back of the head and continued the beating in the car, using a closed fist to strike the boy several times.

When officers tracked the child down, Selzer said, he was visibly injured. "Officers observed the child's shirt was ripped around the neck, his left cheek was swollen and red, he had small cuts around his left eye and his forehead was swollen," Selzer said.

Big River Grandprix was closed Tuesday, and no one from the business could be reached for comment.

There was no answer at Tipton's home telephone number Tuesday.

The drug charges stem from a search warrant police obtained for Tipton's home, Selzer said. The victim of the assault told officers that he believed there were drugs in the home, and Tipton refused consent for a search.

A small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found initially, Selzer said. A second search warrant to get into a safe in the home Tuesday unearthed a much larger amount that officers were still processing late Tuesday afternoon, Selzer said.

"It was more than we normally get off an individual on the street," Selzer said. "This was a very good arrest of an individual."

Tipton posted bond for three misdemeanor charges: third-degree assault, marijuana possession under 35 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia. The charges all carry a possible sentence of up to a year in the county jail.

In addition to being barred from contact with the boy, under his bond conditions Tipton must stay away from anyone drinking or using illegal drugs and submit to a blood, urine or breath test for drug or alcohol intoxication if requested by a law enforcement officer.

rkeller@semissourian.com

335-6611 extension 126

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