Tenant punches out carpet layer over missing items

MADISON (WKOW) -- A 35-year-old Madison man was arrested Tuesday for battery after police say he punched out a carpet layer in the man's former apartment building. 

Edward I. Smith was booked into the Dane County jail and later released after posting a bond.   

The carpet contractor, hired to install new carpets at the 2100 block University Ave. apartment building, was punched in the face by the angry former tenant who thought someone had just stolen items from the U-Haul truck he had rented, according to the police incident report.

The encounter left the 54-year-old carpet installer confused about what just happened. He suffered a swollen face and bloody lip, according to police.

When police were called, witnesses say Smith had already sped out of the parking lot in the U-Haul, clipping an ambulance that had come to assist the injured carpet layer, striking two parked cars in the process.The U-Haul was eventually pulled over near the corner of Regent Street and Speedway Road.

Smith was arrested and faces charges of battery and disorderly conduct.

Apartment complex managers said Smith had earlier been seen running around the property, screaming obscenities while confronting several people about items missing from his truck, according to police.

A second victim said the Smith poked a finger into his chest and assumed a boxer's stance.

No fight took place, but Smith soon threw the punch at the carpet installer. 

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