Employee holds ‘intoxicated’ man at knife point after Lufkin armed robbery scare

Employee holds ‘intoxicated’ man at knife point after Lufkin armed robbery scare
Source: Raycom News Media

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - After Lufkin police officers responded to a report of a possible robbery in progress at a restaurant Thursday night, they found a man holding another person at knifepoint.

As it turned out, the man who was being held at knifepoint was arrested on a public intoxication charge because he was acting “deranged” and speaking incoherently.

Ira Joe Sheffield was arrested and charged with Class C misdemeanor public intoxication.

According to the narrative of the offense report, Lufkin PD officers were dispatched to the Taco Casa restaurant located at 1517 S. First Street at about 10:56 p.m. Thursday in reference to a report of a robbery in progress.

The officers were told that a man was holding employees at gunpoint inside the restaurant.

When the officers arrived on the scene, they set up a perimeter around the restaurant. The LPD officers noticed a man sitting on the floor next to the north side door of the building. Another man was standing behind the counter with an object in his hand.

Two of the Lufkin PD officers on the scene approached the building and noticed that the man who was standing was holding a knife. As the standing man approached the door, one LPD officer drew his pistol and ordered him to drop the knife.

“The male quickly did so and stated that he was an employee who was not in uniform,” the narrative stated.

The employee explained to the Lufkin PD officers that he was holding the other man at knifepoint and unlocked the restaurant’s doors for them. The officer who had drawn his pistol pointed it toward the seated man, who complied with the officer’s orders.

The suspect, who was later identified as Sheffield, was taken into custody without incident. The officers discovered that he did not have a gun in his possession as was reported to them.

One of the responding officers could tell that Sheffield was intoxicated on some type of drug because of his demeanor and speech.

“The suspect had incoherent speech, was profusely sweating, and had dilated pupils - all common signs of intoxication on methamphetamine or some other substance/drug,” the narrative stated.

Sheffield allegedly told police that he ran into Taco Casa to flee from another man who had a gun and was chasing him. However, no suspicious man was located at the scene or in the area.

The narrative stated that one of the officers took Sheffield into custody because he was deemed a possible threat to himself and/or others.

After the Lufkin PD officers cleared the building, they spoke to the person who had called 911. He told them that he and the other employees had been preparing to close the restaurant for the night, but they hadn’t locked the front doors yet. The employee told officers that Sheffield rushed in and started talking about a man with a gun who was chasing him.

At that point, the man who spoke to the LPD officers rushed out the door, so he could go next door to call 911 from Domino’s Pizza. The man told police that during the commotion, he and the other employees misunderstood and thought Sheffield actually had a gun and was trying to rob the restaurant.

Sheffield was taken to the county jail without any further incident. Once Sheffield got to the Angelina County Jail, the LPD officer that transported him asked Sheffield if he had any narcotics on him.

Sheffield allegedly replied, “Yeah” and took off his right shoe. Underneath his foot was a plastic bag, and Sheffield said there was possibly a “joint” in it, the narrative stated. However, when the Lufkin PD officer search the bag, he only found traces of what appeared to be dirt or potting soil.

“The suspect not only was speaking coherently, but he also was somewhat deranged as he believed he was in possession of narcotics,” the narrative stated.

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