Child abandoned at Wal-Mart during shoplifting attempt
by Staff Report
May 18, 2013 | 4237 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A 5-year-old boy was left behind in Wal-Mart Thursday afternoon when his custodian fled the store during a shoplifting attempt.

When dispatched to the scene, the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office deputy was first told a black female allegedly left the boy behind when she left in a black passenger car. According to the incident report, Wal-Mart loss prevention staff believed the woman had taken numerous items valued at more than $600 and, when confronted, she fled on foot through the garden center exit and left the boy behind. She reportedly got into a black Mitsubishi Galant and left via Ga. Highway 20, traveling west.

The boy was kept in the loss prevention office, according to the report, and the staff provided him with food, drinks and toys to help keep him calm. The deputy noted the boy “seemed to be physically sound and did not seem to have been harmed.” The boy reportedly made conversation with the store staff, with the deputy noting he seemed unusually accustomed to being around strangers.

“He showed no signs of distress and seemed to be coping with the situation far beyond what would be expected out of a five-year-old child in a similar situation,” the report read.

The loss prevention staff then began receiving calls from the boy’s family members, who were asking about him. In one of the conversations, according to the report, someone said the suspect was a male and not a female as originally reported. Further information also seemed to indicate the male was the boy’s uncle.

The deputy spoke with a Floyd County Sheriff’s Office deputy and received a recent booking photo of the uncle. While the uncle’s photo was similar to the images from security footage, the deputy noted it was difficult to get a positive identification.

The boy’s mother later arrived at the store. She claimed a neighbor had picked her son up from school. When asked if she knew anything else about the suspect, the mother said she did not know anything else. When the deputy showed her the booking picture of the man suspected to be her brother, she said she did not know him. When the deputy showed her the images taken from security footage, the woman said it was her neighbor.

The mother said she did not know how her son came to be at Wal-Mart and she reportedly said she did not have a telephone number or address for the person who had her child. The report noted she would not cooperate with the investigation and she would not provide contact information for the suspect, as she said she did not know it.

In the report, the deputy noted her claim of not knowing basic information about the person she entrusted her child to was “unsettling” and the likelihood of it being true was “infinitesimal.”

Since the boy’s custody was apparently in flux, his mother did not know how to get in touch with his custodian and that custodian abandoned him during a crime, the deputy concluded his “health and well-being would be in imminent harm were he to return to his current living situation.” The boy remained in the deputy’s emergency custody and he contacted Bartow County Department of Family and Children Services. DFACS later took custody of the boy.

A second deputy later met with some of the boy’s family members, according to the report. They claimed the boy was with his uncle. The family members also claimed the uncle liked to dress in drag.

No charges were made at the time of the incident report, as a positive identification could not be made.

Shoplifting leads to 100 mph highway chase

In a second shoplifting incident at Wal-Mart Thursday afternoon, the attempted theft of more than $1,000 worth of Blu-Ray discs led to a high-speed chase on Interstate 75.

According to the incident report, a black female wearing a black jacket, brown pants and a black hat with an orange bill allegedly attempted to conceal more than $1,000 worth of Blu-Ray movies in a Rubbermaid tote. When store loss prevention employees attempted to stop her, the suspect reportedly got into the back seat of a newer model Chevrolet Malibu and fled the scene.

When a Bartow County Sheriff’s Office deputy located the vehicle on Marketplace Boulevard, the vehicle turned back into the parking lot, drove through it at a high rate of speed and went east on Ga. Highway 20. The deputy pursued it before a Georgia State Patrol trooper took over.

The pursuit continued onto I-75 southbound with speeds reportedly reaching approximately 100 mph. The pursuit continued until the officers were ordered to stop.

The merchandise was recovered, as it was left in the parking lot where the vehicle had been parked. A license plate number was taken from security footage, but it reportedly returns to the same type of vehicle, but one that is a different color.

Man tased at Parkway North

Cartersville police officers tased a man Thursday evening when he attempted to flee on foot.

David Dewayne Payne had been sitting on the second story balcony with two other men, drinking alcohol, according to the incident report, while two Cartersville officers were conducting a foot patrol. Since the three men were visibly intoxicated, according to the report, the officers asked for their identification. Payne gave the officers his date of birth and the name Michael Payne, which was later found to be false when the officers searched him for weapons and found his wallet.

As the officers were checking Payne’s wallet, he allegedly fled the scene and ran around the right side of the 300 building. The officers split up, with each running around a side of the building. Payne was pursued to a stairwell, where he was tased and taken into custody.

Bartow County Dispatch confirmed Payne had two valid warrants. One warrant was out of Bartow County for probation violation and the second was out of Euharlee, also for probation violation. Payne also was charged with obstruction of officers and giving false name and date of birth.

Prowler arrested in Churchill Downs

The Bartow County Sheriff's Office arrested a Cartersville man after he was caught with another suspect while breaking into vehicles.

According to Sheriff Clark Millsap, deputies were dispatched to Churchill Downs subdivision off Cline Smith Road just after 3 a.m. this morning to answer a call of a prowler. Deputies checking the area heard a loud noise come from the area and then spotted James Murrell Wright, 37, of Cartersville and another man trying to flee in a 1988 Ford Crown Victoria. The car spun out and the two occupants fled on foot. Deputies located Wright hiding in some bushes at a neighborhood home and he was arrested. Deputies have identified the other man involved and warrants have been taken. The second man's name is not being released at this time in an attempt to locate and arrest him.

When the deputies checked the Crown Victoria Wright had attempted to flee in, they found property which had just been stolen from a car parked in a Churchill Downs driveway. The property was identified and returned to the owner. The owner reported and showed deputies where a landscape-type brick had been thrown through her window to make entry into her car to commit the theft.

Wright is currently booked into the Bartow County Jail on charges of entering an auto to commit a theft, prowling, obstruction, reckless driving, and driving without a license. He has a $2,800 bond set, but does have a hold placed by Tift County for unrelated charges. The other man faces the same charges and more information will be released upon his arrest.