PD: Phoenix panhandler asked to move, strikes clerk with van

PHOENIX - A man panhandling for money at a Phoenix gas station is accused of hitting a clerk with his van after being asked to move. 

Phoenix police report that on November 22, Matthew Tommy Jones was panhandling at a gas station near 16th Street and Buckeye Road. 

The clerk at the station came out and asked him to move. Instead, police say, Jones got into his van, spit and threw hot coffee at her. 

The woman backed away from Jones who reportedly started his van, swerved toward her and struck her with it. 

He then allegedly left the area, leaving the woman on the ground with multiple cuts and bruises. The victim was able to provide police with a partial license plate number and a description of the van, saying it had cardboard being used as a window. 

Eight days later, police located the van and arrested Jones, who allegedly admitted to spitting and throwing coffee on the victim. 

However, he said she was struck when she ran in front of his van. 

Jones has been charged with aggravated assault.

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