Court: Alleged shoplifters fight back against police

acarlson@ledger-enquirer.comDecember 30, 2013 

Tara Williams

After allegedly stealing $140 in Kohl’s merchandise on Christmas Eve, a woman and her boyfriend avoided the pursuit of loss prevention officers and then fought back against the responding police, according to court testimony Monday.

Tara Williams, 30, is charged with aggravated assault, felony obstruction of an officer and theft by shoplifting after fleeing from police at the Whittlesey Boulevard shopping center last week.

She pled not guilty to all charges in Columbus Recorder’s Court.

Williams was first reported as a shoplifter by Kohl’s loss prevention at about 2 p.m., after she and her boyfriend allegedly left the store and drove to the nearby Sears. Their white Pontiac Grand Prix was soon identified by police.

Sergeant Dawn Tuning, the first to identify them, testified that Williams’ eyes “got real big” as Tuning approached and she ran back to her car from the Sears entrance.

Her boyfriend was detained, but he allegedly pushed Tuning away and fled on foot.

Tuning testified that as she came to the Grand Prix, she ordered Williams to get out of the car.

Williams tried to start the car. Tuning repeatedly opened the door to reach her, and Williams repeatedly slammed it shut.

Finally, with the door open, Williams started the car and began to drive off before Tuning could deploy her Taser.

Williams struck another vehicle with her own; Tuning was knocked back from her grip on the door as the car began to move, sustaining cuts and bruises.

Corporal John Hicks also responded.

He pursued Williams’ boyfriend across the boulevard to Red Robin. Hix testified that, once detained, Williams’ boyfriend identified her and provided the number for her sister, whose car they had been using.

Williams’ sister said that Williams does not have a permanent residence and that she had been living out of the Pontiac.

Williams was arrested in Harris County on Saturday. She did not make a statement in court.

Judge Michael Joyner set a $25,000 bond for the aggravated assault, $10 for the felony obstruction and $250 for theft by shoplifting.

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