A misunderstanding over $15 for a cake topper is now costing a Winona woman $645 in fines and a simple assault charge.
Jarulina Ford of Winona went before Judge Alan D. Lancaster Thursday morning in Winona Municipal Court for a charge of simple assault.
Jasmine Topps of Duck Hill said she owns Jazzy’s Sweets and Eats where she makes treats, cakes and other sweets. Topps said she had made treats for a birthday party for Ford. She said Ford paid her deposit and she owed a little more, so they agreed for her to come to Ford’s home on Stella Street to pick up the remainder.
“I pulled up, and I sent my daughter to the door,” she said. “She knocked and Jarulina came to the door. She told my daughter to hold on, and she closed the door.”
Topps said she saw another customer, who is Ford’s neighbor, and the two began to hold a conversation. She said by that time, she and her daughter were both standing in the yard.
“She noticed we were standing there, and she called Jarulina,” Topps said. “[Ford] told her to tell me that she didn’t have any change and she would give it to Nika.”
She said Ford was referring to her mother, Tanika Hardiman.
“I told her don’t worry about it, I have change on me,” Topps said. She said she went to her truck and retrieved the change and she went back to the door. She said she was on the phone with Hardiman, telling her what was going on.
“I was knocking, calling her name. ‘Jarulina. Jarulina. I’m outside, I have the change,” she said. Topps said Ford came back to the door flung it open, and began to load a clip and rack a pistol, demonstrating how she did it in court.
Topps said her father was killed by gun violence, and she’s terrified of guns. She said Hardiman was still on the phone and when she told her that Ford had a gun, Hardiman hung up and called Ford.
“I threw my hands up, and I began to slowly move back,” she said. Topps said she then left, went to the Winona Police Department and contacted Chief Roshaun Daniels.
But, Ford tells a different story. She said she thought the cake topper was included with the cake, and she didn’t know it was separate.
“I did not have a gun, I don’t even have a gun. I have children,” she said. “I had a stick!” Ford said she did fling the door open and she held the stick up telling Topps if she didn’t get away for her home, she would hit her.
“If I had’ve known it would’ve been all of this,” she said. “I would’ve just fought her.”
Lancaster found that Ford was the aggressor and found her guilty of simple assault.