By Chris Conrad
A Medford man angry over losing $600 at video lottery was jailed early Wednesday morning after forcing his way into a bar and choking an employee to get his money back, police said.
Frankie Julius Parker, 34, spent his evening drinking and pumping money into lottery machines at Rumors Lounge on North Riverside Avenue until the bar closed at 2:30 a.m., according to Medford police.
Parker left the bar but returned a short time later and knocked on the door, claiming he left his wallet inside.
A 61-year-old Rumors employee did not let Parker back inside the bar, opting instead to search for the wallet as he waited outside.
“She didn’t feel comfortable letting him in the business,” Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said. “She was doing the right thing, but it turned out badly for her.”
The woman opened the door a crack to tell Parker there was no sign of the wallet. Parker then saw his chance and charged the door, Budreau said.
“He basically bum-rushed the woman and knocked her to the ground,” Budreau said.
Parker, who is a large, strong man, easily held the woman down and began strangling her, police said.
“This was a very violent encounter,” Budreau said. “The woman could not yell out or breathe. You could easily kill someone by choking them this way.”
While Parker gripped the woman’s throat, he made demands for money, Budreau said.
Fortunately, the woman’s husband, who was working in the kitchen, heard the struggle and came running out to find his wife on the ground being strangled.
The man grabbed a pool cue and yelled at Parker to let go of his wife.
Parker fled and hid behind a nearby Dumpster, Budreau said.
Officers arrived and quickly located him behind the Millwood Inn nearby.
He was arrested on charges of second-degree burglary, third-degree robbery, fourth-degree assault and strangulation. He remains lodged in the Jackson County Jail on $50,000 bail.
Budreau said Parker could face tougher charges once the district attorney reviews the case.
In the end, investigators believe Parker was livid over losing $600 playing video lottery and wanted his money back.
“There was no sense in this,” Budreau said. “If the woman’s husband had not been there, who knows how this could have turned out.”
Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or email email@example.com.
This story originally appeared in Medford Mail Tribune.