No good deed goes unpunished: Providence man assaulted after offering to pay for laundry

During the chaos, he said several bystanders called 911, but he later learned none of the calls to dispatch ever made it to police. 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — What was supposed to be a good deed, turned into a nightmare for one Providence resident.

The incident happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday at Freeway Laundry on Broadway.

Christian Miller told ABC6 news he was doing his laundry on Sunday when he overheard a customer becoming agitated towards two female employees.

“I could hear that he was upset about having a card a laundry card that wasn’t working,” Miller told ABC 6 News.

Trying to step in to help, Miller offered the man his own card with funds on it. That’s when the suspect became irate.

“The solution in my eyes was to just offer him some of my Own money and give him an extra card that I had,” he said.

He told ABC 6 a first call to police was made.

The suspect then asked Miller to step outside to talk. That’s when the man assaulted the victim in broad daylight.

“He just lunged forward and punched me in the face,” he said. “My glasses fell off my face, I couldn’t really get my footing, the gravel I’m standing on now is the same place I lost my footing,” said the victim.

During the chaos, he said several bystanders called 911, but he later learned none of the calls to dispatch ever made it to police.

“The police didn’t even really know there was an issue going on,” he said.

Detectives later arrested 38-year-old John Wayne and charged him with assault and battery.

Miller said he’s relieved the man was caught, but still has many questions about why police were never sent to the scene.

If the community cannot trust that their 911 calls are even going to get sent over to police, then the community is going to start defending itself,” he said.

He said he received an apologetic phone call from the Providence Police Department, who said they plan on getting to the bottom of the dispatch miscommunication.

Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare issued a statement on the matter Thursday and said disciplinary action will be taken.

“Providence Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident in question, specifically those in which our officers did not respond in a timely manner to this incident. Several calls for service were made to our telecommunications department and the appropriate disciplinary actions towards the individuals responsible for this lack of communication will be held accountable for their actions upon completion of the internal review.”

Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island