York County authorities arrested a local man for allegedly assaulting a housekeeper at Heritage Communities on the MorningStar Ministries property.
Clarence John Ames III, 44, was charged last week with assault and battery in the third degree. The incident happened on Halloween night at the property on Starlight Drive, according to a sheriff’s report.
MorningStar Security Director Randy Brown told deputies that one of his employees was assaulted after finding Ames in the fitness center, where the housekeeper had gone to clean. It was around 10 p.m. on Oct. 31 when she found Ames in the bathroom with another person.
“Ames told her she could not enter because it was occupied and that he was a very important person so she needed to leave,” a sheriff’s report says.
When the victim returned 20 minutes later to clean it, she heard the shower running in the bathroom. Ames once again told her to leave. The employee told Ames that he was not allowed to use the showers.
Ames got upset and “aggressively grabbed” the woman by her upper arms and moved her aside toward the hallway, the report says. The suspect lifted her and then pushed her against a wall and held her there.
“She heard Ames then yell to the individual in the shower to quickly get out,” a report says. “At this point (the victim) was incredibly scared and could not move so she screamed and then threw her arms up in an attempt to get Ames off of her. Ames finally let her go once the person in the shower asked for him to bring them clothes.”
The housekeeper ran out of the room and advised security that there was a man in the fitness center using the showers. She left and went to Atrium Health Urgent Care due to the continuous pain she had in her back, which left her with deep bruising.
Security Supervisor Norma Hicks went to the fitness center to make contact with Ames. While she was getting to the fitness center, Hicks advised that she was met with a loud aggressive man barking out threats to other employees. Hicks attempted to deescalate the situation, but Ames continued to yell and threaten employees, the report says. Hicks then asked Ames if he lived in the building or if he was registered hotel guest. Ames stated his mother was a resident of the building.
Ames then started accusing the housekeeper and other employees of infringing on his and his girlfriend’s privacy and that they were harassing him without cause. Ames left but was picked up later on the assault charge. He is free on bond.
The suspect was convicted last year of obtaining property under false pretenses and sentenced to 30 days in jail. He was also arrested on three drug charges last year, but those offenses were ultimately dismissed.
In 1997, Ames was placed on probation after convictions for burglary, malicious injury to property and criminal conspiracy. He was also ordered to pay nearly $40,000 in restitution. According to court records, Ames has lived in several different locations over the last 25 years, including Rock Hill, York and Charlotte.