Buckeye Police arrest suspected shoplifter

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by Marie Saavedra, 3TV

azfamily.com

Posted on November 25, 2011 at 9:11 PM

BUCKEYE, Ariz. -- Black Friday turned bloody at the Buckeye Walmart.

"Right when I got out of the circle, I saw a girl get hurt [on her side] and on the other side too," said 12-year-old Nick Nara.

He isn't describing some school yard brawl. He's talking about his overnight shopping with his grandfather at the Walmart that ended with 54-year-old Jerald Newman on the floor restrained by Buckeye Police. He was booked into jail for shoplifting and resisting arrest after Walmart started the sale of a video game around 1am.

Witness Skyler Stone described the scene.

"There was this cardboard display with video games and people ripped it to shreds. It was like the cure to cancer was in that box. People were going insane," he said.

Nick says he and his grandpa were right in the middle of it.

"I only got one game. People were trying to take it away from me, so he grabbed it and put it under his shirt," he said.

Newman's family says he was trying to get the game and his grandson out of the mob scene and had every intention to pay. But Walmart calls that shoplifting, and so do Buckeye Police. Officers moved in for the arrest, and say Newman was trying to get out of their grip.

"There are witnesses that are reporting our officer did everything they could to control the suspect," said Chief Mark Mann with Buckeye Police.

Newman's family also confirms that he's hard of hearing. They believe he likely didn't understand the officer in all the panic.

Buckeye Police say the fact that Newman was hard of hearing was not on the initial report.

One of the officers from Buckeye that responded as backup has a record of questionable integrity. During her time with Phoenix Police she was added to the Brady List, a list of officers who have had their honesty called into question. That all happened before she joined Buckeye's force.

The Chief in Buckeye says he'll do a full administrative review.

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