News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2007

Theft suspect allegedly rams officers with cart

By Seth Burkett · 340-2355

A suspect who allegedly rammed security guards with a shopping cart loaded with a pressure washer faces robbery charges stemming from the incident at Wal-Mart on Wednesday night, Decatur police said.

Loss prevention officers Lisa Lowery and David Watkins Jr. stopped Robert Wesley James, 33, as he left the store and asked him to come to the security office, police said in a report released Thursday.

James started running for the exit with the cart in tow, striking Lowery and then Watkins, the report said.

“He turned a simple shoplifting into a couple of robberies because he used force against them trying to take off with the property,” said Detective George Silvestri, who is investigating the case. “He ran over one of them with (the cart) and tried to shove it through the other guy that took him to the ground.”

James continued struggling with officers long after Watkins wrestled him to the floor, the report said.

He suffered a small cut on his head but refused treatment by emergency medical technicians.

Neither of the loss prevention officers was hurt, Silvestri said.

Silvestri charged James with two counts of third-degree robbery and obstructing justice by giving a false name.

Silvestri said James, a transient, gave officers a false name, perhaps to avoid arrest on multiple felony warrants, including burglary and forgery charges, from Baldwin County.

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