Police make arrests over shoplifting

Published 6:45 pm Tuesday, October 5, 2010

One of two suspects believed to have shoplifted from Wal-Martwas caught near the arts school Monday afternoon after a long chasein which citizens spotted him almost every step of the way.

Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson said Deaunte T. Humphrey, 19,of 419 North Fifth St., was corralled near the campus of theMississippi School of the Arts around 1:30 p.m. after fleeing abouta mile through neighborhoods and across busy city streets in broaddaylight. The capture did not affect the school or endanger thestudents in any way, Henderson said.

“He was never a threat to the students,” he said.

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Humphrey’s alleged accomplice, 22-year-old Victor Nelson, of 905East Independence St., was apprehended just after noon on WestCongress Street near the Golden China restaurant.

Both men are charged with shoplifting, simple assault anddisorderly conduct. Nelson faces additional charges of resistingarrest.

Henderson said the suspects attempted to steal from Wal-Mart beforenoon Monday and apparently assaulted one of the employees whentheir heist went awry. They separated after leaving the store, butconcerned citizens aided police by reporting sightings of thesuspects several times over the next hour and one-half.

“We never lost sight of them,” Henderson said. “We had a goodcitizen (at Wal-Mart) trying to help and saw what direction theyran. Later on, a citizen saw the second one (Humphrey) running. Heended up at the arts school.”

Henderson said he’s still investigating allegations that shots werefired during the chase and catch. A police officer was heardcalling out “shots fired” to the dispatcher, but neither suspectwas carrying a weapon and no officers discharged their weaponsduring the ordeal, he said.