Alleged shoplifter falls on knives
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Press Wire and Local Reports
GRAND RAPIDS – A shoplifting suspect who was stabbed in the stomach by knives he is accused of trying to steal was expected to have a brief stay in the hospital, police said.
The 26-year-old Comstock Park man hid $300 worth of hunting knives in his waistband at the Knapp’s Corner Meijer store, police said. He suffered puncture wounds to his abdomen about 5:40 p.m. Monday when he tried to flee and scuffled with security workers. During the struggle, the suspect fell on the knives, authorities said.
Meijer staff closed the store’s north entrance while police and medical responders attended to the man.
The suspect was hospitalized with wounds that were not life-threatening and is expected to face a misdemeanor shoplifting charge, police said.
“The man was taken to the hospital,” said Meijer spokesman Frank Giuliano. “We are cooperating with the investigation by police.”
Police said the suspect has a record of retail fraud.
“I saw a man laying down on the mat by the carts, a knife by him with blood on the full blade of the knife,” shopper Heather Dodd said. "It was not a dull kitchen knife or a sharp butcher’s knife. It was somewhere in between.
“Someone was holding him down, so I just walked around him, grabbed my cart, made sure everything was OK and got out of the way.”
Meijer spokeswoman Stacie Behler said she wasn’t immediately certain of corporate policy regarding confronting retail fraud suspects. The safety of customers, staff and the suspected shoplifter are the store’s priority, she said.