Two in custody after accused of shoplifting, assaulting Danville officer, and crashing twice while fleeing

Southside Virginia News

(Photos: Courtesy Danville Fire Departmnt)

DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — Two North Carolina men were arrested for multiple charges after they reportedly assaulted a police officer and crashed into two vehicles following a shoplifting incident at a Danville Walmart Friday afternoon, leaving three people — including the officer — injured.

Shortly after 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 7, the Danville Police Department says officers responded to a call about a shoplifting in progress at the Walmart Supercenter at 515 Mount Cross Road.

According to the department, Officer S.C. Parker, in cooperation with Walmart loss prevention, approached two men near the store exit, but the men did not comply with the officer’s requests.

The interaction reportedly continued to the parking lot, where authorities say they tried to apprehend one of the men — identified as 24-year-old Parker Barron Wright of Ruffin, N.C.

According to police, Wright violently resisted arrest, assaulted Parker, and broke free to get to the getaway vehicle driven by the second man, 21-year-old Billings Carpenter Miner of Semora, N.C.

Parker kept following the two men on foot in the parking lot. However, in the words of the department “Miner drove in a manner as if to hit the officer.”

Even though Miner did not hit Parker, officials say Miner did strike a vehicle in the Walmart lot as he sped off, driving recklessly as the vehicle disappeared from view while going south on Mount Cross Road. No officers were able to pursue the vehicle as it left the scene.

The department says Parker was bleeding from facial injuries, but he was immediately treated at the scene by a bystander with gauze, who only identified herself as a nurse. The officer’s injuries are not considered life-threatening or serious. However, he would like the woman to contact the department so she can be recognized for her help.

A Walmart loss prevention officer was also transported from the scene to receive medical care after the incident, according to authorities.

Meanwhile, police say the suspect vehicle made its way down Piedmont Drive to the intersection of Executive Drive, where it hit another vehicle and became immobile. The driver of the vehicle hit by the getaway car was hospitalized to be treated for injuries.

According to officials, Miner and Wright tried to run away, but another Danville police officer who saw the crash. The two men were then taken into custody near the crash scene on Executive Drive.

Authorities tell WFXR News that Miner, the driver, was charged with felony eluding law enforcement, misdemeanor hit and run, felony hit and run, felony assault and battery on a police officer, and shoplifting.

As for the passenger, Wright, he was charged with felony assault and battery on a police officer, obstruction of justice, shoplifting, and disorderly conduct, police say. In addition, Wright was already wanted out of Danville for fraud/obtaining money by false pretenses, so that warrant was served against him.

Both of these men were reportedly held without bond.

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