A young Milwaukee man has been charged with substantial battery afer he allegedly attacked and injured a grocery manager who was trying to detain an older woman who was trying to steal liquor from the store – a woman police now suspect was the defendant's mother.
According to police reports:
At 1:27 p.m. Tuesday, 21-year-old Earl Jones III was arrested after he sucker-punched a manager at Sendik’s, 8616 W. North Ave., who had tried to detain a woman for theft.
A clerk in the store had seen the woman take two bottles of liquor from a shelf and not return them. The clerk said the woman had moved out of her view and when she next saw her the bottles weren't visible.
The woman came to the clerk's counter and requested a small item, and the clerk heard bottles clanking in the woman’s purse, so she called out a code for retail theft over the store intercom.
The manager stopped the woman outside the store, but then heard her call out to someone, and a moment later he was struck a hard blow in the face and knocked to the ground. The woman got into a waiting car with an unknown driver and they left, while the manager’s assailant fled on foot across West North Avenue.
Another store employee chased the suspect, later identified as Jones, on foot for several blocks, and police caught him about eight blocks away, at Swan and Jackson Park boulevards.
Police found the woman's purse dropped in the parking lot with two broken bottles of Absolut vodka inside.
The manager at first declined treatment for a 1-inch cut over his eye but later went to the hospital and received six stitches to close the wound.
While police were booking Jones, a middle-aged man and a younger woman showed up hoping to bail him out. The man said he was Jones' uncle; the woman, his girlfriend. They had driven to the police station in the same car that had been identified as the getaway car at Sendik's.
Another woman had also called the station to say that she was Jones' mother and would be stopping in to get him. She never showed up, but as it turned out the car was registered to her, and since Jones had made no phone calls since his arrest, police were led to believe that she was the prime suspect in the liquor theft and had sent her brother and the younger woman in her car to get Jones.
It was a futile effort, anyway – Jones was not being released in Wauwatosa under any circumstances but was instead being sent to the Milwaukee Criminal Justice Center to be held for a bond hearing.