By Joe Johnson
An Athens shoplifter reportedly tried pulling a knife on a police officer who arrested him.
The incident began at about 7:50 p.m. Thursday when officers responded to Kroger on College Station Road on a report of a man leaving the store without paying for a shopping cart full of beer, according to Lt. Shaun Barnett, public information officer for the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.
Barnett said officers spotted the suspect, later identified as 27-year-old Jamal Devon Curry of Bailey Street, in the area of Arby's on Barnett Shoals Road. Curry ran from the officers, but Sgt. Clint Dieball chased after and caught the suspect at an adjacent Wendy’s, where a struggle ensued in which the officer deployed his Taser.
“During the struggle, the offender was reaching in his pants in an attempt to pull out a knife,” but Dieball “was able to prevent the officer from fully deploying the knife by pinning the offender's hand to the ground,” Barnett said.
Once backup officers arrived, Curry was able to be handcuffed and taken into custody, according to Barnett, who said the offender was found to be in possession of a quantity of heroin.
Curry was charged with theft by shoplifting, possession of a Schedule I Controlled Substance, felony obstruction of a law enforcement officer, and aggravated assault on a police officer.
As of Friday afternoon, he was being detained without bail at the Clarke County Jail.