Crime

He shoplifted from Walmart, police say. Running from the cops made it worse.

A South Carolina man is in custody after he shoplifted from Walmart and drove from the scene, Biloxi police say.
A South Carolina man is in custody after he shoplifted from Walmart and drove from the scene, Biloxi police say. Sun Herald file

A South Carolina resident is being held by Biloxi police after shoplifting and driving away from police to avoid arrest, police say.

Around 1:46 p.m. Saturday, officers responded to Walmart in Biloxi for a report of shoplifting in progress, according to Maj. Christopher De Back.

As officers arrived the suspect was getting in a blue semi-truck he was the driver of. The suspect was later identified as 26-year-old Michael Lee Mateo.

Officers gave verbal commands for the suspect to stop, but he drove out of the parking lot heading west on U.S. 90, De Back said.

Officers pursued the suspect down various streets at various speeds, never exceeding 50 mph. According to De Back, at different times, Mateo crossed the median into traffic and drove on sidewalks.

As the pursuit came back east on U.S. 90 and approached White Avenue, Mateo went to make a U-turn and attempted to drive of the median again to avoid officers. The truck’s forward motion was obstructed by the sand.

At that time, officers went to surround the truck, but Mateo refused to exit the truck, De Back said.

Mateo placed the truck in reverse and started to back up toward officers, striking a police vehicle. At that time, an officer fired shots into the cab of the truck. De Back said no one was struck by any of the rounds.

Mateo was finally removed from the truck when a window was broken out. Both Mateo and an officer received minor cuts from the broken glass. Both are being treated for their injuries at local medical facilities.

At this time, Mateo is held on charges of felony eluding and misdemeanor shoplifting.

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