Man accused of tasing officer during shoplifting attempt

Man accused of tasing officer during South Knoxville shoplifting attempt


KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A man was detained for questioning after allegedly attempting to steal a microwave from the Walmart in South Knoxville and assaulting several police officers.

Ricky Womack, 36, is charged with two counts of aggravated assault on an officer, two counts of resisting arrest, two counts of simple assault, theft of a Taser, fleeing in a vehicle, and numerous driving related charges.

Knoxville Police Department spokesperson Darrell DeBusk says officers responded to a theft call at Walmart, 7420 Chapman Highway, around 12:59 p.m.

DeBusk says Womack had stolen a microwave and was trying to leave the store armed with a box cutter when he was stopped by loss prevention employees.

Officer Jeff Damewood, the first officer on the scene, was able to assist in getting the suspect to the loss prevention office when Womack began arguing with Officer Damewood.

The officer reached for his handcuffs and the suspect said he "wasn't going back to jail." Womack then began fighting with the officer.

Damewood deployed his Taser on Womack, which had no effect. Womack was able to grab the Taser during a struggle and fled the store.

A second officer, Adam Barnett, was arriving at the store when he encountered the suspect running to his vehicle. Officer Barnett tried to grab Womack from the driver's seat when Womack used the stolen Taser on the officer.

Womack then floored his vehicle and flung Barnett to the pavement. Womack then tried to hit Officer Damewood who was running to assist Officer Barnett.

Womack got away in a Nissan Maxima going northbound on Chapman Highway.

Officers located him as he was crossing the South Knoxville Bridge and stopped him on Hill Avenue at Historic Preservation Drive.

Womack and three others in the vehicle were detained for questioning. One male and two female passengers were interviewed and released.

Womack was taken into custody and now faces a list of charges.

Officer Barnett was taken to the hospital for treatment of a leg injury.

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