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Man charged with shoplifting, assaulting Walmart employee

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By Chris Sardelli

After a short chase and brief struggle, a Lancaster man was arrested on several charges for allegedly taking several items from a Walmart store and then shoving an employee. 

David Lee Twitty, 42, 1316 Old Lansford Road, was arrested Nov. 24 on charges of assault and battery, resisting arrest and shoplifting, according to a Lancaster Police Department incident report. 

Officers were called at 10:13 a.m. to Walmart, at 805 S.C. 9 Bypass, about a shoplifting in progress and a man running from loss prevention officers. 

A 911 dispatcher advised officers that the man was seen riding a bicycle away from the store and wearing a black toboggan, gray sweat pants and had gold teeth, the report said. 

After arriving at the scene and setting up a perimeter, officers saw a Walmart manager picking up a black bicycle from the edge of the nearby wood line. They also noticed a man fitting the shoplifter’s description running through the woods directly across from the vocational rehabilitation building on Roddey Drive heading toward Main Street.

An officer in a patrol car later saw Twitty, who matched the description, walking up the ramp between Main Street and S.C. 9 Bypass.

The officer approached him and ordered him to lay on the ground, though he refused, the report said. 

With a Taser in hand, the officer tried to grab Twitty’s right hand, though he tried to pull away and was forced to the ground, the report said. 

“Twitty was instructed to put his hands behind his back and stop resisting,” an officer wrote in the report. “Twitty had his left hand on the ground trying to push himself up.”

After a brief struggle, officers were able to arrest him and question him about the incident. 

Twitty told officers that two people had tried to rob him, the report said.

“Mr. Twitty stated he was walking out of the grocery door when a man and woman ran up on him and stated ‘Give it here,’” an officer wrote in the report. “Twitty stated he got scared, ran out and jumped on his bicycle.”

Lancaster County EMS was called to the scene to check a scrape on Twitty’s finger which was bleeding. He was taken by ambulance to Springs Memorial Hospital where he was treated and then released into police custody. 

Officers later spoke with the Walmart employees who confronted Twitty inside the store. The employees reported seeing Twitty grab and conceal clothing and deodorant, the report said. 

The employees told officers they confronted Twitty, though he tried to use “physical redirection” to get away, the report said. 

“Mr. Twitty shoved (an employee) with both hands and ran from the store,” the report said. 

Officers later viewed surveillance footage from the store and saw two employees approach Twitty before he shoved one of them and ran away, the report said. 

 

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416