Affidavit: Lufkin Sam's Club shoplifting suspect who escaped custody injured 2 LPD officers

Affidavit: Lufkin Sam's Club shoplifting suspect who escaped custody injured 2 LPD officers
Source: Lufkin Crime Stoppers
Source: Lufkin Crime Stoppers

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin Police officers charged a 27-year-old Garrison man on felony theft and robbery charges on Tuesday after he allegedly stole DVDs from Sam's Club and then fought the officers who tried to take him into custody.

Draden Heath Copeland is still being held in the Angelina County Jail on a second-degree felony robbery charge and a state-jail felony theft less than $1,500 with a previous conviction charge. No bail amount has been set at this time.

According to the arrest affidavit, three Lufkin Police Department officers were dispatched to the Sam's Club store at 407 N. Brentwood on Oct. 31 in reference to a suspicious person.

When the officers arrived on the scene, they met with one of the store's assistant managers, who told them that a man was picking out DVDs and had stolen a number of DVDs the day before, the affidavit stated. The manager told the LPD officer that the suspect had stolen six DVDs while he was in the store.

In addition, the manager told the officers that the name patch on the suspect's shirt read, "Heath," and the other one had "CC" on it.

At that point, the officers waited for Copeland to exit the store. When they made contact with him, he told them he didn't have anything on him.

After one of the officers tried to put handcuffs on Copeland, he allegedly began jerking and pushing in an effort to get away from them. One of the officers grabbed Copeland by the arm, but let him go when another one of the officers yelled, "Taser! Taser! Tarser!"

The officer stumbled to the ground, and Copeland ran into the parking lot even though it appeared that he had been struck with the Taser, the affidavit stated. Copeland jumped into a white pickup and tried to close the door.

However, one of the officers grabbed the door and pulled it open enough for another officer to deploy the Taser again, the affidavit stated. The shock device seemed to have no effect on Copeland, and he allegedly drove off toward South First Street.

Lufkin Police officers patrolled the area, but they were unable to locate Copeland.

One officer had scrapes on his right elbow and forearm, and the other officer suffered a cut to his finger during the struggle with Copeland, the affidavit stated.

After Lufkin Crime Stoppers ran the surveillance video of the suspect, tips started to pour in, according to the affidavit. The suspect was quickly identified as Draden Copeland. After LPD investigators compared a photo of Copeland to the surveillance footage still, they confirmed that the suspect was Copeland.

A Nacogdoches Police Department detective informed the Lufkin Police Department that Copeland was being held in the Nacogdoches County Jail on a theft charge. When Copeland was checked for puncture wounds, a wound consistent with a Taser deployment was allegedly found on his right bicep.

The Nacogdoches detective also told his Lufkin counterparts that Copeland was driving a white Chevrolet pickup when he was arrested in Nacogdoches County.

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