An off-duty Chattanooga police officer out shopping came to the aid of a Walmart greeter and arrested a shoplifting suspect, according to police.
Sunday at about 7:30 p.m., Officer Josh Wright was leaving the Walmart on Gunbarrel Road when he saw a man trying to force his way past a greeter with a shopping cart loaded with televisions and a computer. When Walmart loss prevention officers tried to stop the man, he forced his way past them and refused to produce his receipt, according to police.
At this point Officer Wright stepped in, identified himself as a Chattanooga Police Department officer and showed his badge. The man looked at the badge, declared it to be a fake and tried to get by Officer Wright, police said.
Officer Wright then took the suspect, identified as Joseph Anthony Hill, to the floor and placed him under arrest.
Within minutes the arrest, the suspect’s wife, identified as Lisa Hill, began acting as if she was having a heart attack and stated she did not know the suspect, police said. A witness then told Officer Wright that she had seen Mr. and Mrs. Hill in the store together.
The witness began leaving the scene when Mrs. Hill became belligerent and began calling the witness a liar and threatening her, according to police. Mrs. Hill followed the witness to the parking lot, grabbed her by her hair, threw her to the ground and began hitting her, according to police.
Police said the witness got a pocket knife from her purse and stabbed Mrs. Hill in the arm in order to get her off her. Mrs. Hill was taken to a local hospital, treated for minor injuries and released, police said.
The woman who stabbed Mrs. Hill declined to press charges, and surveillance video from Walmart confirmed the witness’s statements, according to police.
The investigation into Mrs. Hill’s actions still is open, police said.
Mr. Hill was charged with theft over $1,000 and assault on a police officer.