Shoplifting suspect allegedly strikes Livingston officer in hand with open handcuff

Samuel Baker (Source: Polk County Jail)
Samuel Baker (Source: Polk County Jail)

LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - Livingston Police officers arrested a 31-year-old suspected shoplifter on Sunday evening after he allegedly twisted away from the officer trying to handcuff him, hitting him in the hand with the open cuff hard enough to cause a cut and bruising.

Samuel Jacob Alexander Baker, of Cleveland, is still being held in the Polk County Jail on two felony charges - assaulting a public servant and a theft of property less than $1,500 charge that was upgraded to a felony because of prior convictions - and a Class A misdemeanor resisting arrest charge. Collectively, his bail was set at $20,000.

According to Lt. Matthew Parrish, a spokesman for the Livingston Police Department, the incident occurred at the Livingston Walmart at approximately 4:25 p.m. He said after Baker was caught shoplifting a Walmart asset protection specialist stopped him from leaving the store.

When a Livingston PD officer arrived on the scene, he took the backpack allegedly containing stolen merchandise from Baker and started putting handcuffs on him. The LPD officer paused in the middle of the process to radio for other officers to detain two women that had possibly been shoplifting with Baker.

Parrish said at that point, Baker tried to twist away from the arresting officer. The sudden movement caused the open handcuff to strike the officer in the hand hard enough to cause a cut and bruising.

When the officer put Baker on the ground in an effort to put him in custody, Baker continued to struggle. Not much later, additional LPD officers arrived on the scene, and Baker was taken into custody without any further incident.

Parrish said that Baker stole approximately $239 worth of merchandise, including cases for cell phones, LG DVD writers, candy, and antiseptic dog spray from the Livingston Walmart.

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