Alleged shoplifting incident turns into robbery


An alleged shoplifter who struggled with a store security office and a police officer before being arrested Friday night will have to post a $10,000 bond to be released from the county detention center while prosecutors prepare felony charges against him.

Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth set the bond Tuesday after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge William Sykes, 19, with robbery.

Detective Jeremy Oswalt reported that Sykes was arrested after he ran from Brookshire’s at 2800 Hazel Street at 8:59 p.m.

Oswalt reported that Arkansas Department of Correction’s Narcotics Officer Billy Hayes was working security at the store when he reportedly saw Sykes try to steal candy by putting it in his pocket. Hayes said he tried to detain Sykes, who became irate and tried to leave the store, and when Hayes grabbed Sykes, a physical struggled ensued and Sykes escaped.

Officer Joseph O’Neal, the first officer to respond to the store, was able to get a description of Sykes and reportedly located him running near 27th Avenue and Locust Street. When O’Neal tried to get Sykes to stop, Sykes reportedly refused and ran to the area of 25th Avenue and Locust Street with O’Neal chasing him on foot.

Oswalt reported that Sykes resisted arrest until O’Neal sprayed him with pepper spray.

A witness at the store and video tape confirmed Hayes’ version of events, Oswalt said in the probable cause affidavit.

When Sykes was questioned, he reportedly waived his right to an attorney and admitted trying to steal candy, and struggled with Hayes and O’Neal.

Bridgforth appointed the Public Defender’s Office to represent Sykes, and told him to come back to court Dec. 4 at 9.a.m.