PB man accused of injuring officer during meat theft

A Pine Bluff man is accused of injuring a police officer while trying to steal meat from a grocery store in April.

Otha Staggers, 46, allegedly push down University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Police Officer Jidanancia Mitchell when she attempted to keep him from leaving the store, according to a probable cause affidavit from Pine Bluff Police Department Detective Roger Gray. Mitchell suffered fractures in both of her wrists.

Mitchell was working off-duty security on April 14 at the Save A Lot grocery store in the 600 block of South Ash Street when the incident occurred, according to the affidavit. She was wearing a jacket with the word “POLICE” on the back and a badge with her name on the front.

When she confronted Staggers, he dropped the meat but did not stop, according to the affidavit. Mitchell grabbed the hood on his jacket and he allegedly pushed her to the floor and ran out of the store.

According to the affidavit, Staggers was identified as the suspect based on security video from the incident, DNA collected from the jacket and a witness identification from a photo lineup.

When interviewed, Staggers allegedly said he had tried to steal the meat and he remembered being confronted by a police officer, but he did not remember pushing her.

Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth ruled Monday that prosecutors have probable cause to charge Staggers with robbery and second-degree battery of a law enforcement officer. Bridgforth set a $10,000 cash-only bond for Staggers.