Moments later, Wright allegedly snatched the phone from her hands and deleted the recording. Then Wright hit her on the head with her gun, Boyle said, before she managed to retrieve her phone and flee.
“That could have ended very differently: [With] Harris County going to my house and telling my son that I wasn’t coming home,” Boyle, 36, told The Washington Post.
Wright, 46, has since been charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault, court records show.
“[Our] investigation revealed that she struck the victim with a firearm that she brandished during the altercation,” Mark Herman, a Harris County constable, said Friday in a statement.
Neither Wright nor her attorney immediately responded to messages from The Post early Monday.
The incident isn’t Wright’s first brush with the law.
In 2012, a Missouri judge sentenced her to 51 months in federal prison for helping move and hide millions of dollars taken in a 2010 heist of an ATM sales and services company. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the FBI found hundreds of thousands of dollars hidden in the attic of Wright’s St. Louis home, only a fraction of millions she had already moved to a storage facility.
Years after completing her sentencing, Wright moved to Houston and opened MZBIZ Tax Services, which according to their website, offers accounting, credit repair, and business planning services.
Boyle, a new business owner who moved to Texas from Louisiana two years ago, said she normally files her taxes herself. But this year, worried she might make a mistake in her filings because of her new venture, a family member referred her to a tax preparer who works for Wright.
On March 9, a little over a month after Wright’s employee filed her taxes, Boyle said she received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service requesting that she send more information “to process the return accurately,” citing discrepancies in her filing. Wright’s employee later allegedly admitted making a mistake, Boyle said.
Boyle spent weeks contacting the IRS and attempting to get the missing documentation from Wright’s staffer, she said. But after getting nowhere on her own, she decided to visit MZBIZ personally in search of an answer.
On March 25, Boyle arrived at their offices around 12:30 p.m., she said. But she soon noticed she was not the only one there trying to complain about their filings. According to Boyle, a conversation between Wright and a couple who were there to contest extra fees allegedly taken from their tax return got heated after both Wright and the clients began cursing at each other.
About 15 minutes later, Boyle said, the couple stood up from Wright’s office and stepped aside while awaiting another document. Wright soon began yelling at them to “get the hell out.” The woman eventually left, but her husband stayed behind waiting for the paperwork, Boyle said.
That’s when Wright pulled out a gun and brandished it as she argued with the man, the witness said. “At that point, that’s when I started recording,” Boyle said.
The video she shot shows Wright walking to her desk, waving the gun. Another couple sitting in front of Wright’s desk tried to calm her down before she walked up to Boyle and asked her to stop recording. At that point, a struggle ensued and, according to Boyle, Wright violently pulled her phone away.
“When she snatches the phone she says … ‘You can leave. You can get the hell out,’ ” Boyle said. “This is my first interaction with Latunya Wright. I hadn’t even sat down.”
Then, Boyle said, Wright hit her in the head with an object she couldn’t see. Police later said that Wright had hit Boyle on the head with the gun. Wright deleted the video before throwing Boyle’s phone to the ground, shattering its screen, Boyle said.
“I turn around after picking up the phone and she has the gun in her hands,” Boyle said. “At this point she cocks the gun to put a bullet in the chamber but there is already a bullet in the chamber, so the bullet pops out of the side of the gun.”
By then, around 2:30 p.m., clients and staff had called police and Boyle said she walked out of the store, fearing for her life. Harris County police arrived moments later and soon arrested Wright.
Boyle was later transferred to a hospital to treat a head injury. Wright was charged on March 26 and booked into Harris County jail. She was released after posting her $70,000 bail. She is due back in court on Monday.
She has since posted a Facebook message from her business account, writing, “I have always helped other people #always There are some truly evil selfish people in the #world these days.”
Boyle said she was later able to recover the video and turned it over to police. She is so rattled by the incident, she said, that she still hasn’t told her two sons; her parents found out through news reports.
“I’m going to have to work with a therapist,” Boyle told The Post. “I’m shocked. I’m hurt. I’m mad about it. I went to clarify an issue going on with my taxes and ended up with a horrible life experience.”