The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 13, 2013

Man accused of pulling knife after being fired


— A 42-year-old construction worker has been charged with felony assault for allegedly pulling a knife on a work supervisor who fired him Thursday morning outside a Joplin motel.

Fredrick L. Billups was arrested at the Economy Inn, 1700 W. 30th St., following an incident there about 8:30 a.m. Billups is charged with first-degree assault of Pete A. Riley, 31, of Memphis, Tenn.

Police Officer Michael Gayman said Riley stopped at the motel Thursday morning to pick up another worker and to let Billups know that he was fired. Billups demanded money to get him and his family back to their home in another state, and was given $100, Gayman said.

Billups is accused of then throwing a rock at Riley and trying to slam the door of Riley’s truck on his leg.

The two men began scuffling and Billups allegedly pulled out a pocket knife and lunged at Riley, Gayman said.

Riley, who escaped injury, left the motel in a truck and reported the matter to a police officer at another location, and Billups was arrested.