DUNWOODY, Ga. — Police in Dunwoody said they were forced to tase a shoplifting suspect after he tried to escape officers by throwing himself from the balcony of a busy metro Atlanta mall, hitting a child below.
According to Dunwoody Police, Jeffery O'Neil Newell is charged with aggravated assault, felony shoplifting, reckless conduct, and obstruction of law enforcement officers.
Police said it was around 3 p.m. Dec. 1 when officers were alerted to possible shoplifting at the Dillard’s inside Perimeter Mall.
Authorities said the suspect ran out of the store into the mall with the stolen items as officers arrived.
One of the Dunwoody officers grabbed hold of the suspect and was trying to take him into custody when the suspect threw himself over the railing from the second floor. Both officers were holding the suspect up by his arms while he was suspended in the air.
The suspect kept wiggling until the officers couldn’t hold him any longer - causing him to fall from the second onto a 5-year-old child below. After he fell, he got up and kept running.
The Dillard's store manager tried to stop the suspect until the officers could get down to the first floor, but the suspect reportedly pulled a knife on the store manager and kept running toward the food court.
Officers chased the suspect down the hallway between Macy’s and Forever 21 into the parking deck outside. That's when officers finally caught up to him and tased him to take him into custody.