Carrie Whitaker of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER has an account of Tuesday’s Chris Henry incident in Charlotte from a man who claims he’s Loleini Tonga’s neighbor. Lee Hardy told Whitaker that he witnessed - from only a few feet away - a heated exchange between Tonga and Henry as they sped past him in a pickup truck.
Lee Hardy, a neighbor, said he was trimming his trees on a 15-foot ladder as he watched the yellow pickup truck zoom past him - with Henry in the bed and his fiancee Loleini Tonga at the wheel.
“He was banging on the top, on the doors, screaming at the lady, ‘We need to talk,’” Hardy said.
“He said, ‘If you take off, I’m going to jump off the truck and kill myself,’ ” Hardy said.
Hardy said he was less than 2 feet from Tongas’ driveway when the pickup drove past. He said it was going about 25 to 30 mph.
Hardy also talked about Tonga as a neighbor.
The alleged eyewitness to the incident told Whitaker that the Tonga family were “great neighbors” and that one of Tonga’s sons often mowed his lawn.
Homicide detectives are investigating the incident but have not charged Tonga with a crime and she has not been arrested or taken in for questioning. For what it’s worth, ESPN News reported earlier today that Charlotte police have also not instructed Tonga to remain in the area.
As posted earlier, an alleged eyewitness who attended to the injured Henry said she hear Tonga say to police that Henry jumped off the truck.
Police are moving extremely cautiously in this case and I haven’t seen, heard or read a consensus of opinion that indicates how the masses feel about what really happened. One of the big questions that remains is if there are more witnesses out there with definitive accounts of Tuesday’s tragic events. The answer could explain the current pace of the police investigation.
UPDATE: WCNC-TV in Charlotte has more about Hardy’s alleged eyewitness account and his interaction with police:
“And he (Henry) was demanding, ‘We need to talk,’” said neighbor Lee Hardy.
Hardy says he was trimming a tree very close to the driveway of the Tonga home. The truck stopped about 30 feet away. He says Henry was yelling.
“‘We need to talk. We need to talk.’ She (Tonga) was saying, ‘No, I don’t want to talk. Get off the truck,’” Hardy said.
Before the truck sped away, Hardy heard a comment that adds suicide to the potential list of causes of the accident.
“He said, ‘If you take off I’m going to jump out and kill myself,’” Hardy said.
Police interviewed Hardy Thursday evening. Officers called the retired DMV employee credible and said his story is consistent with some of the other facts they have gathered during the investigation.