Mother, boyfriend beat suspected drug dealer with chair

Monica Spraggins (Source:
Monica Spraggins (Source:
Larry Malone (Source:
Larry Malone (Source:

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Memphis mother and her boyfriend beat a suspected drug dealer with the leg of a chair after he tried to sell drugs to her son, authorities said.

Monika Spraggins and her boyfriend, Larry Malone, found themselves in jail Saturday, after admitting to breaking a chair and using it to rough up a fellow boarding house tenant.  Spraggins said she did it because a drug dealer, Howard Mitchell, sold pot to her son.

"I saw three police cars," said Spraggins' neighbor, Eric Cole. "He was sitting on the porch with his head down.  He was bleeding from his head."

Cole said he understood the parents' frustrations.

"I would have done the same thing that they did, because I wouldn't want anyone selling drugs to my child," he said.

Rodney Severance, who owns the rooming house where the incident occurred, disagreed.  Severance has a daughter of his own.  

"She's going to just say no, like Scruff McGruff," Severance said. "She's going to be taking a bite out of crime."

Severance said parents must teach their children.

"When you let your child go into the school system, she's going to be confronted with all types of dealers, wheelers and pimps, but if you've already gotten it into her head to avoid that, you shouldn't even have to worry about all of that," he said.

Action News 5 contacted Mitchell, who refused an on camera interview.  Displaying stitches from the beating, Mitchell said he is not a drug dealer, though his criminal record includes marijuana charges.

Police have not charged him with any wrongdoing.

"What allegedly happened between two tenants is that - two tenants business, and a personal matter that they need to resolve in the courts right now," Severance said.

Spraggins and Malone will appear in court to face charges Tuesday.

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