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Man struggles with officers on I-20 on-ramp

After struggling with officers on the side of the on-ramp to I-20 off of Hwy. 142, a man was arrested for stealing hundreds of dollars’ worth of groceries from the Walmart on Industrial Blvd. Tuesday.

Covington Police Officers were called to Walmart, just before 2 p.m., concerning suspicious activity of a male pushing a shopping cart full of un-bagged groceries on the garden center side of the parking lot. The male was picked up by a red Mustang, with a black front left quarter panel.

Officers responding to the scene pulled the vehicle over on the westbound I-20 ramp. The responding officer reported that the vehicle’s passenger seat was full of loose, un-bagged groceries.

According to reports, the passenger, identified as Joe Franklin Christian, was “reluctant to make eye contact and was fidgety with his hands.” He was asked to exit the vehicle, and when the door opened, an officer noticed what looked like a silver revolver in the passenger door pocket.

An officer then patted down Christian and discovered a pocket knife clipped to his front right pocket.

According to an officer at the scene, when Christian was asked to put his hands behind his back, he initially complied. Then, he tried to pull his hands free and spin away. An officer snapped one cuff on Christian’s left wrist, but the suspect continued to spin away. According to reports Christian was taken over to a guard rail away from traffic, where he put his foot on the rail and pushed back into the officers, who thought it was an attempt to injure them. Christian was then moved to the front of a police car, where he pushed off the bumper with his foot.

Eventually, Christian was eventually placed on the hood of a police car and put in handcuffs, according to the reports. Officers then went back to Walmart. A scan of some of the groceries revealed that items weren’t paid for.

Christian was arrested for felony theft by shoplifting and felony obstruction of an officer.