Florida

He hit his wheelchair-bound dad with a grocery bag of clothes. And, Mom got mad at Dad.

Davarious Cooper
Davarious Cooper

A wheelchair-bound Florida man is accused of hitting a wheelchair-bound man with a grocery bag of clothes and personal hygiene items. Police say he was reacting angrily to being kicked out of the apartment by the paralysis victim for not contributing to the home.

Wednesday’s alleged grocery thrower is Davarious Cooper, 21. The man in the wheelchair was his father, 57-year-old Clayton Cooper.

Davarious sits in St. Lucie County Jail with a $15,000 bond on a charge of abusing a disabled person without great harm. Davarious’ mother, 46-year-old Kimberly Cooper, bonded out after her arrest about 10 hours later on the same charge.

The irony in that is Kimberly Cooper wound up in jail after confronting Clayton over Davarious’ arrest.

This began Tuesday night around 10:50 p.m. Clayton called St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office to have Davarious removed from his Fort Pierce home as an unwelcome guest. He told Deputy Tanya Wright that Davarious doesn’t pay rent, bills or buy food in the home where Clayton, Davarious and roommate Clarence Paige live. Also, Clayton, paralyzed since an operation years ago, said Davarious “continues to make threatening statements towards him,” according to the arrest report.

Once Davarious could show nothing to counter his father’s claim, Deputy Wright wrote in the arrest report, he packed a grocery bag of clothes and hygiene items and left. A little more than an hour later, in Wednesday’s first minutes, Wright was summoned back to the residence.

Clayton and Paige told Wright they were sitting on the front lawn when Davarious returned and hit Clayton “in the face with the grocery bag of items out of anger.” The deputy said she saw text messages from Davarious to Paige that said Davarious would come back to the apartment “in a threatening manner.” Both men believed Davarious would come back with a gun.

When Davarious did come back while Wright was still there, he told her Clayton was the one with a gun. Davarious said he’d come back because he didn’t have any other place to stay that night, but Clayton reached for a pistol in his wheelchair when he asked to be allowed back.

Wright didn’t find any weapons on Clayton or Paige, both of whom denied owning any. Wright wrote, “Clayton also showed me his hands and said that he wouldn’t be able to shoot a gun with his crippled fingers.”

Off to jail went Davarious. But at 10:42 Wednesday morning, SLCSO, in the person of Deputy Pietro Pizzani, was back at Clayton’s apartment. This time the unwelcome family member was Kimberly Cooper, Clayton’s estranged wife.

Deputy Pizzani got two versions of what happened. Clayton said Kimberly came in, cussing and shouting and flinging things around the apartment. He said she finished losing her temper over Davarious’ arrest by slapped his chest and throwing his blue blanket to the ground.

Kimberly later told Deputy Pizzani, she was mad at Davarious’ arrest and did argue with Clayton. But she didn’t hit him and “thinks Clayton is reporting this because he’s mad.”

Clayton claimed no injury from the alleged attack, but wept, “I feel they’re taking advantage of me and I don’t want this to keep going on.”

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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