3 Doors Down Bassist Charged With Beating Paperboy, 53, Outside Cheap-O Deep-O

Newspaper deliveryman accuses Todd Harrell of stealing papers.

A warrant was issued Monday for the arrest of 3 Doors Down bassist Todd Harrell, who was charged with simple assault for allegedly beating up a 53-year-old newspaper deliveryman who accused him of stealing papers.

The bassist is being accused of punching Ronnie Boulware three times in the face and kicking him in the groin. After the warrant was issued, Harrell turned himself in to police and was released on a $325 bond. A court date was set for March 30.

The altercation occurred on Friday at a Cheap-O Deep-O in Moss Point, Mississippi, after Boulware and his wife accused Harrell of taking three newspapers from a newspaper vending machine when he paid for only one. Boulware told police that he and his wife followed Harrell back to his car and argued with him. He said that the bassist closed the door of the vehicle, then opened it again, got out and attacked Boulware. The paper carrier admitted pulling a gun on Harrell in self-defense.

In his police report, Harrell claimed Boulware was the aggressor, and that the paper deliveryman positioned himself between the interior of Harrell’s vehicle and the open door, preventing the bassist from entering his car. Harrell said that it looked like Boulware was about to strike him, so he struck first, and added that he had paid for all three papers inside the convenience store.

“He wouldn’t let me leave,” Harrell said in a statement, adding that Boulware physically tried to restrain him. In addition, Harrell mentioned that Boulware forced him to leave the scene on foot while his companion was held at gunpoint in the car until police arrived.

On Monday, police also issued an arrest for Boulware for exhibiting a weapon during the dispute. Boulware, whom Lieutenant Chuck Coleman of the Moss Point Police Department considers the aggressor in the incident, was hit with a $1,000 appearance bond after he turned himself in. Boulware’s face was bloodied in the confrontation, but he refused medical treatment on the scene. Later, he went to a local emergency room to be examined. He was treated and released, Coleman said. Boulware is also due in court on March 30.

Harrell’s publicist said the bassist purchased multiple copies of the paper because it had an article about a project he had conducted with local schoolchildren.

This isn’t the first time Harrell was busted for fighting. In May 2002 the bassist received a misdemeanor simple assault charge for punching a 49-year-old man at a party (see “3 Doors Down Bassist Turns Self In, Faces Assault Charge” ).

[This story was updated at 5:25 p.m. ET on 03.08.2004]