After days of hearing about the peaceful side of Aaron Alexis from his Fort Worth friends, one man says he saw a darker, violent side two years ago.
Monty Peterson said Alexis was good at making people believe he was a great guy. But he wonders how Alexis managed to talk his way out of an assault charge, even when a Fort Worth police report said he did it.
In June 2011, about five months after Alexis was done serving as a Navy Reservist at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Peterson told Fort Worth police he took a woman home from a party who was a friend of Alexis'.
The police report states Peterson and the woman got into an argument and he dropped her off at her aunt's house.
Peterson later returned to explain himself to the woman's aunt. Alexis was there. "He was about a couple of feet from me and sucker punched me right in the nose," said Peterson.
The police report has differing stories about who started the fight. However one thing is clear, the report states Aaron Alexis punched Peterson in the face.
Alexis' friends this week told FOX4 they did not feel his other run-ins with the law and three arrests were a big deal.
Peterson disagrees. "He never had me fooled, that's why I cleared out of his path," he said.
Instead of citing Alexis for the punch, Peterson was cited for misdemeanor assault. That charge was later dropped by the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office.
"I was shocked that they cited me, I figured for sure they would haul him off in hand cuffs," said Peterson.
He still wonders to this day why Alexis was never charged.
When he heard that Aaron Alexis was the person who committed the mass shooting at the Navy Yard, he said it blew his mind. "It made me realize that, you know, it could have been me instead of the innocent people up there suffering. It could have been one guy here in Fort Worth."
Peterson said if there had been an assault charge against Alexis, along with the other arrests, it would have sent up more red flags about him. He believes those flags could have made a difference.
Aaron Alexis visited two VA hospitals in the weeks before the rampage but did not say he was depressed or having thoughts of harming himself or others.
The VA said Alexis complained of insomnia during visits in Rhode Island and Washington. He was given sleep medication.
KDFW FOX 4
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