Two arrested after alleged thefts, fight near Raley’s
Police: Firearm discharged; retired police officer hurt after purse-snatching
By Donna Beth Weilenman
Two people were in custody Wednesday after an encounter in which a pair of retired police officers came to the aid of a store employee who confronted a woman accused of stealing wallets and purses from shoppers, Benicia police Lt. Frank Hartig said.
Police arrested a 50-year-old Oakland man and planned to arrest a 46-year-old Fairfield woman after she received treatment at a nearby hospital for health complaints unrelated to the incident, Hartig said.
Both of the accused were taken to Solano County Jail in Fairfield, where the man — identified as Stephon Anthony, 50 — was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, possession of stolen property, theft, conspiracy and possession of narcotics. The woman, identified as Arshawn Neal, 46, is facing charges of theft and conspiracy, Hartig said.
Hartig said the department was notified about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday of a disturbance at Raley’s Supermarket, 895 Southampton Road, in which Neal and a woman shopper were struggling over a purse.
A male employee of the Southampton Shopping Center grocery store came to the shopper’s aid, Hartig said, as did a retired Bay Area police officer, and the struggle went from inside the store to the parking lot.
“It was a pretty violent fight,” Hartig said, with the suspect dragging the two men on the ground.
Another retired police officer — who apparently did not know the first retired officer — ran to help and became embroiled in the fight, Hartig said.
At that time, another man, later identified as Anthony, approached the fight, grabbed the purse and fled in a blue vehicle, Hartig said.
As he drove off, he knocked down one of the retired police officers, who pulled a gun and fired at the car, hitting the vehicle but not the driver, Hartig said.
Benicia police arriving at the scene alerted other officers, and the suspect’s car was pulled over on the 2000 block of Columbus Parkway, where Anthony was arrested, Hartig said.
He said during the chase, the blue car’s occupant hurled an object out a window, and police later recovered a wallet belonging to a Benicia resident.