Woman arrested after spending 5 hours in Walmart

Published 12:14 pm Monday, November 24, 2014

A Salisbury woman was behind bars Monday morning after allegedly spending five hours in Walmart and passing out in a shopping cart while her children were with her.

Jessica Nicole Blackwelder, 30, of 350 Catfish Terrace, Salisbury, was arrested late Friday on charges of misdemeanor larceny, child abuse, a general misdemeanor, second-degree trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Salisbury Police Officer Mike Colvin said Walmart patrons and store staff immediately began approaching him, describing the woman’s condition, after Colvin arrived at the store. Colvin said the woman arrived at Walmart at about 5 p.m.

“Customers said that she was headfirst in the buggy, passed out,” Colvin said.

He said Blackwelder first told police that she had been dropped off by her husband. Blackwelder said her husband was nearby, but police were unable to confirm her husband’s location. Blackwelder also reportedly told police that her mother worked at K-mart, located nearby. Police were also unable to locate Blackwelder’s mother.

Police found Blackwelder’s van to be parked illegally at Walmart, Salisbury Police spokeswoman Capt. Shelia Lingle said. Instead of Blackwelder being dropped off by her husband, Lingle said, the woman drove to Walmart. Police officers wrote Blackwelder a ticket at about 9 p.m. for parking illegally, Colvin said.

As Blackwelder checked out at a register, Colvin said the woman began yelling profanities.

Police subsequently arrested Blackwelder. A Rowan County Department of Social Services worker was in the store and helped take care of the children until the grandfather and father picked the children up.

Other than a few candy bars, Colvin said it appeared that the children hadn’t eaten anything. He said the children had also soiled their clothes.

Blackwelder had bought some items for herself while attempting to check out, but Colvin said police also found more than $100 in stolen merchandise in her purse.

Colvin said he walked out to Blackwelder’s van to find diapers for the children and found several other items that he believed to also be stolen.

Lingle said the trespassing charge stemmed from the Salisbury Walmart banning Blackwelder from the store.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246