Store owner charged in Jonah King death
By Nathan Hardin
SALISBURY — Authorities have charged a?convenience store owner with selling beer to Jonah King hours before the 16-year-old was fatally injured in a skateboarding accident.
Hecham Nauraldin Abualeinan, owner of Z and H Mart, 3610 Mooresville Road, was charged with two counts of liquor law violation by a state Alcohol Law Enforcement agent.
The 58-year-old Abualeinan was released from the Rowan County jail this afternoon after posting a $1,000 bond.
According to a Rowan County Sheriff’s Office report, Jonah King purchased two 18-packs of beer, one on June 9 and one on June 10, from the convenience store located about a mile and a half from King’s home in the Summerfield subdivision.
Video footage showed the 16-year-old was not asked for identification during the purchase at the store, according to investigators.
King was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center after he fell off a longboard and his head struck the pavement on Timberlane Trail about 1:30 a.m. on June 11.
He died of his injuries the next day at the Winston-Salem hospital.
“Investigations show that alcohol contributed” to the accident, the Alcohol Law Enforcement agency said in a press release.
Friend Kevin Robinson told a State Highway Patrol trooper he was following King in a pickup to provide light as they made a lap around the neighborhood.
Deputies said they are continuing to investigate if “towing,” the practice of holding onto a vehicle while being pulled up hills, was used.
Neighbors told authorities King and other young people in the neighborhood had previously been “towed” on the surrounding roads.
Robinson, 18, was charged with driving after consuming alcohol by a person under 21 and having an open alcohol container in the vehicle.
Deputies asked an Alcohol Law Enforcement officer to assist in investigating the incident.
Reached by telephone Tuesday afternoon, Abualeinan told a Post reporter he had no comment.
Court records show Abualeinan was charged in 2009 with selling tobbaco products to a minor.
He was issued a prayer for judgement in the case.