By Ray King

A Pine Bluff man who is on parole and has two pending cases in Jefferson County Circuit Court was arrested Tuesday after allegedly hitting a man in the head and stealing a cell phone.

John Edward Wright, 43, was taken into custody after witnesses to the incident held Wright until police arrived, Deputy Prosecutor Jay Gerard said in a court hearing Thursday.

According to a probable cause affidavit from Detective Sgt. Mike Roberts, the victim was at the Shell gas station on Blake Street when Wright approached him and said he wanted the victim’s cell phone. Gerard described what happened next.

When Wright was questioned, he admitted hitting the victim in the head twice with the rock and taking the phone but said he did not intend to steal the phone. Wright said he was upset because the victim had failed him twice, so he hit the victim with the rock.

Gerard said Wright has charges of possession of a controlled substance and possessing prohibited articles pending and is currently out on bond on those charges.

Because of that, Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth set a $25,000 cash-only bond for Wright after ruling prosecutors have probable cause to charge him with aggravated robbery. Wright was ordered to have no contact with the victim and to come back to court on May 24.

Wright will also be held on a parole violation warrant until a hearing to determine if he should be sent back to prison to finish his sentence.