CLEARWATER, Fla. — Clearwater Police have arrested two women in connection to a shoplifting case at a Dollar General store where the store employee who was trying to stop the suspects, was dragged by their getaway car.
Tashada Bryant, 24, and Makini Harris, 24, both from St. Petersburg, were booked into the Pinellas County Jail early Wednesday morning, over a month after the incident. Bryant was the driver of the getaway car and was charged with strong arm robbery. Harris, was charged with accessory after the fact. The police department says both women have prior arrests.
The Dollar General employee who was injured in the incident suffered a broken shoulder and was treated and released from a local hospital.
According to Clearwater Police the incident happened on March 31, 2019.
Surveillance video shows two women enter the store at 1600 North Myrtle Avenue in Clearwater. According to police, the women placed items in their purses and walked past the registers without paying.
The video shows them running out of the store. That’s when employee William McIntosh follows them.
Police say the women parked their car, a black Nissan with a temporary tag, in a handicap parking spot.
Macintosh managed to open the car door when the driver put the car in reverse. This trapped McIntosh and he was dragged about 20 feet before hitting the ground. The employee suffered a broken shoulder and bumped his head in the ordeal.
“A man who was simply doing his job and working at the store did not deserve that kind of treatment from them," said Rob Shaw, Public Information Officer with Clearwater Police Department.
We reached out to Dollar General, who told us it is an ongoing investigation, and they are referring all inquiries related to the matter to local authorities.
Shaw says a store employee should never pursue a suspect.
“We don’t want any person from a store to intervene and try to stop someone from leaving because he could have been even more seriously injured or killed," he said.
Shaw asks the women to come forward before police find them.
“The charges would have been very— retail theft — very minor charges. Now we are looking at strong armed robbery and aggravated battery charges," he said.
The employee victim spoke with ABC Action News over the phone. He said a customer came up to him at Dollar General and said they knew the women. The customer showed McIntosh the social media profiles of the women. McIntosh told us it was the alleged shoplifters and that he forwarded the information to police.