<
>

Charges dropped for men accused of assaulting Mike Wallace, family

The criminal cases against three men charged in a June 17 fight with former NASCAR driver Mike Wallace have been dropped.

Prosecutors dropped the charges at the request of Wallace and his family, according to court documents.

"These individuals are the ones that must testify in a public courtroom and relive the incident each time they take the stand," states a filing from prosecuting attorney William Biggers. "In this case, the State is filing this dismissal based on the wishes of the victims."

Wallace faced the prospect of reliving the fight at least three additional times. Misdemeanor cases in North Carolina are heard in front of a judge in district court, with appeals automatically going to a jury trial in superior court. Then there could be civil litigation.

An attorney for Wallace declined comment and said neither he nor Wallace could comment on why the charges were dropped or the status of any civil claims.

The fight, which occurred following a Rascal Flatts concert in Charlotte, North Carolina, resulted in four misdemeanor assault charges against Paul Lucas and two misdemeanor assault charges against Lucas' brother, Nathan, and Randolph Mangum.

Wallace, 57, said during a trial in October that he still had black floaters in his right eye from getting hit in the face as well as a broken tooth that he needed to have replaced and lacerations in his mouth. His daughter, Lindsey Van Wingerden, suffered a broken wrist and black eye. The trial abruptly ended in a mistrial when prosecutors realized potential witnesses had been sitting in the courtroom during some of the testimony.

The defense never got to present its side of what occurred, and a new trial was never rescheduled in North Carolina District Court. The district attorney's office dismissed the charges Friday, according to court documents.