One North Kingstown man testing his criminal luck got a dose of pepper spray and literally lost his shirt when it ripped off his body in a failed fleeing attempt outside the he was shoplifting from, police said.
The incident unfolded a few hours after Palmer allegedly successfully shoplifted a number of items from the same store earlier in the day, police said. Loss prevention officers were unable to apprehend him at the time.
Cranston Police said William Douglas Palmer, 43, of 17 Saratoga Road, North Kingstown, was observed shoplifting for the second time around 3:45 p.m. on Aug. 11.
On this second occasion, store security officers were prepared. They contacted Cranston Police before Palmer left the store carrying a bag with $303 worth of merchandise that he didn't attempt to pay for, according to a police report.
Police were waiting outside for Palmer, who walked out of the store and "began to look around and threw his hands up and dropped the bag."
Officer Ashley Hardy noted in her report that "it was apparent that Palmer was going to try and flee."
Officer Shana Groeneveld went behind Palmer and grabbed his shirt. It was then that he started to run away, the shirt tearing off and falling to the ground.
The two officers tried to apprehend Palmer, but he slipped from their grasp and starting running north towards Walgreens. He couldn't shake the officers, though, and was finally subdued after a struggle during which Palmer allegedly punched and shoved the officers several times in an effort to get away.
His resistance resulted in one of the officers using pepper spray, which finally brought him to the ground.
Palmer was charged with felony shoplifting, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and two counts of simple assault. He was also charged with a warrant stemming from a prior charge out of West Warwick.
Palmer is due to appear in Superior Court on Oct. 12 for a prearraignment disposition conference.