By Jeff Gallatin
A Tennessee couple is facing multiple felony charges after allegedly taking electronic items at Wal-Mart, threatening a store security officer with a knife and fleeing the scene in a stolen car before being caught after a car chase near the Metrohealth hospital complex in Cleveland the afternoon of March 1.
Kevin McCumber, 32, and Carrie Moats, 32, both of Ten Mile, Tennessee, are facing aggravated robbery, felonious assault and felony fleeing charges from the North Olmsted City Police. In addition, they also allegedly stole several days ago in McMinn County, Tenn. the purple Buick Rendevous they drove in the car chase.
“We’ve already been in contact with the sheriff’s department in Tennessee,” North Olmsted Captain Mike Kilbane said Friday. “They’ve got charges down there too.”
North Olmsted Police Chief Jamie Gallagher said Thursday’s incident began shortly after 1 p.m. when the duo allegedly tried to take a headset and X-Box accessory from Wal-Mart.
“Wal-Mart store security tried to detain them as they were trying to leave,” Gallagher said. “The man pulled a knife and brandished it at the security officers, so they backed off at that point.”
No injuries were reported, since the suspect did not actually use the knife on anybody, Kilbane said.
Gallagher said the duo got into the vehicle which was reported stolen in Tennessee and headed out on I-480.
“We had some detectives (Lt. Ron Cox and Detective Chuck Fioritto) nearby and they were able to pick up his whereabouts pretty quickly,” Gallagher said.
In addition, North Olmsted Patrolman Jack Butcher and Bill Saringer, the department K-9 officer, were able to pursue the stolen car in their cruisers.
“Saringer was actually on the STOP (traffic detail) program so he headed over after we put out word on what was going on,” Gallagher said.
Officers pursued the vehicle off the interstate into the area around the Metrohealth hospital in the near west side of Cleveland.
Gallagher noted the duo apparently crashed the vehicle, causing some damage to it, before attempting to flee on foot, with the North Olmsted officers continuing the pursuit with assistance from Metrohealth officers.
“Saringer released his dog (the department’s dog, Rex) when he saw the woman nearby and told her get get down on the ground or the dog would stop her – so she complied,” Gallagher said. ‘Butcher then caught the man a short distance away.”
Gallagher said it was good work by several members of the department.
“The detectives followed up when they heard about the incident,” he said. Saringer, Butcher and Rex all took part as well in pursuing and catching the suspects. And the dispatchers also did a great job in keeping everybody informed by coordinating the information going out.”
Gallagher said officers are still determining what the duo was doing in Ohio.