Man arrested on multiple charges after running from police in Walmart

Published 4:07 pm Friday, November 23, 2018

VALLEY – A Valley man was arrested Thursday night after walking into Walmart with a cup of alcohol and running from police officers, according to Valley Police Chief Tommy Weldon Friday morning.

Key Pruitt, 30, was taken into custody for public intoxication, resisting arrest, attempt to elude, and disorderly conduct. Weldon said Friday there could also be charges for assault second degree, which is a Class C felony.

Weldon said when Pruitt entered the store, he had an open container with alcohol and appeared to be intoxicated. Because officers were already in the store due to the busy holiday event, they quickly attempted to contact him. Once this happened, Weldon said Pruitt allegedly ran away from the officer, starting a foot chase which ended just outside the store’s front doors.

Email newsletter signup

During the arrest, Weldon said the officers attempted to subdue the suspect with a Taser, but a wrestling match ensued, and the officer hurt his shoulder. Weldon said this incident probably meets the requirements for a second-degree assault charge, but a warrant hasn’t been signed yet.

During the incident, social media reports began to swirl around the Greater Valley Area of an active shooter at the store. Weldon said there was never a gun present and no shots were fired. He said the a local social media page first falsely reported the incident. Weldon said once he heard of the rumors, he called the owner of the page and told them what really happened.

“In today’s climate, that is just the way it is,” Weldon said. “Because of social media, they post stuff because of what they perceived happened, they don’t wait to hear from law enforcement about what happened.”

He said social media rumors spread a lot quicker than the truth does because the police have to be sure of their information before releasing it to the public.

“It takes us a minute to make sure what happened and make sure everybody is safe and make sure there isn’t another threat,” he said. “It (the rumors) created a panic after people started reporting things that weren’t true.”

Pruitt was still incarcerated in the Chambers County Jail Friday morning.