Merrillville woman charged with strangulation, battery in Hobart store incident

2012-10-27T00:00:00Z 2012-10-28T00:42:03Z Merrillville woman charged with strangulation, battery in Hobart store incidentDeborah Laverty, (219) 762-1387, ext. 2223

HOBART | The woman who allegedly choked and threatened a fellow shopper for reprimanding her for skipping ahead in line was charged Friday, police said.

Chalonder L. Ervin, 26, of Merrillville, was charged with strangulation and battery through Lake Superior Court.

Ervin was identified after police received a phone call from a concerned resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, police Detective James Gonzales said.

A warrant for Ervin's arrest was scheduled to be issued late Friday or early Monday,  Gonzales said.

Gonzales said the tipster told him she recognized Ervin after seeing a surveillance photo of the then-unidentified woman on the Internet and in the news media.

Ervin's photo, which was displayed in a photo lineup, also was identified by two other individuals shopping Oct. 12 at the Ross Dress For Less, including the victim, Nikki Meanovich.

Meanovich, 23, said she was standing in the checkout line at Ross, 2055 E. 79th Ave., when another woman physically accosted her and her 4-year-old daughter.

Meanovich said she was holding her 1-year-old son with her daughter next to her when the initial verbal confrontation between her and the other woman started.

The woman at first ignored Meanovich's comment about skipping ahead in line, then turned and verbally reprimanded Meanovich after her daughter started whining about a Barbie doll she wanted.

"She told me I needed to take control of my child and act like a decent mother," Meanovich said.

Meanovich said she pointed her finger at the woman and scolded her for involving the child.

In addition to accosting both her and her daughter, the woman also threatened her life, Meanovich said.

The woman left the store after the confrontation, Meanovich said.

Meanovich said she was left with scratches and marks on her neck and a daughter who is traumatized.

Witnesses to the incident told police a Ross employee had stepped between the two women and knocked Ervin's arm which caused her to release her hands from around Meanovich's neck, court documents state.

Ross Dress For Less representatives have declined to comment on the incident.

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