A Putnam County man is arrested two separate times for theft and resisting law enforcement by local authorities in less than 72 hours.
Around 8:30 p.m., Friday, William B. Ross, 59, was involved with a verbal dispute with employees of a local grocery store about his alleged shoplifting when off-duty BCPD Reserve Officer Rick Swearingen entered the building.
According to Police Chief Dave Archer, witnesses reported to authorities Ross had allegedly made two prior trips to a vehicle in the parking lot with unpaid items. When store management approached Ross, he ran toward the door where Swearingen tried to stop him.
Ross attempted to pull away and a brief scuffle broke out, but Swearingen was able to take the man into custody.
Investigating officers, who were able to see numerous store items inside Ross' vehicle, impounded the car to process evidence.
Transferred to the Clay County Justice Center, Ross was preliminarily booked on one count each of resisting law enforcement and theft. A $7,000 cash bond was issued in the matter.
However, because the incident took place during the weekend, after 48 hours Ross was released on his own recognizance Sunday because case paperwork had not been filed at the Clay County Courthouse.
Around 8:30 a.m., Monday, Archer said Ross appeared at the BCPD to sign paperwork to get his vehicle released, left the building and was waiting for the vehicle to arrive when the department received a shoplifting report from employees at another local grocery store.
"They said they had just chased the man across the parking lot," Archer said.
Sgt. Dennis Archer was outside the BCPD facility and saw Ross, who matched the description provided by the grocery store employees, walking toward him.
"When Sgt. Archer yelled out to Ross, he ran and Dennis gave pursuit," Archer said.
The police chief ran outside the police department and joined in the brief foot pursuit, which ended near Sherfey St., where the two officers cornered Ross in the alleyway.
"Ross started to walk to me like he was going to talk, but as soon as he got close he started to run again," Archer said. "I caught Ross, put him up against the wall of a building and informed him he was under arrest. Once Ross was in custody, we walked him back to the department."
Archer said there was a brief moment of comedic confusion when Ross was taken back to the Clay County Justice Center and booked on the same charges as he was on Friday.
"They wanted to know why we were bringing him back for the same thing again," Archer said. "It's sad really, all this for a stolen package of pork steak and two disposable razors. He didn't even have a chance to get out of town."
More confusion surrounds Ross' hometown because, according to officials, he has told authorities several different home addresses. Ross is currently incarcerated on a $7,000 cash bond (with 10 percent allowed) awaiting formal arraignment per the court calendar on both cases.