Arrest made in watermelon incident

Published 5:04 pm Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A man has been arrested in connection with a watermelon incident near Fort Deposit.

Henry Heartsill Sr. of Bulter County said a man allegedly damaged about 4,000 watermelons at his farm in the Little Sandy Ridge Community of Lowndes County near Fort Deposit.

Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams would only say that a black male was arrested Friday in connection with a watermelon incident, but could not release his identity. He deferred to the District Attorney’s office, which has not returned phone calls.

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Heartsill said Thursday he went to harvest his crop of watermelons. He noticed a lot had holes picked in them and that the whole field had been damaged.

He said he went back the next morning. His son had called the sheriff’s office.

Heartsill said the man was ”already in the field cutting watermelons” and ran into the woods. He said the man went to his house, changed clothes and drove and parked his car at the Subway off Interstate 65. He next ran to the Sunflower Cafe and then to the Shell Station and was arrested by the sheriff’s office.

Heartsill alleged the man was hired by someone that had a grudge against his family.

“It devastated us, you know, your spirit too. We had worked a year. You put all your money into your crop, and to have it ruined. It is unbelievable that someone would go to that extent to hurt someone,” said Heartsill.

Heartsill said watermelons were picked three to eight times each.