Shoplifting suspect arrested after ‘pepper spraying’ Walmart employee

Marvin Howard Williams

PINELLAS PARK – Police arrested a 50-year-old Largo man Feb. 5 after he reportedly used pepper spray on a Walmart loss prevention office attempting to stop him for shoplifting.

Pinellas Park police responded to the Walmart Supercenter, 8001 U.S. 19, about 9:30 p.m. on a report of a man actively concealing items in a backpack.

Before police arrived, a loss prevention officer at the store had been notified that the suspect was leaving and he attempted to contact the man who was just inside the vestibule.

Police say when the loss prevention officer tried to talk to the man, he was sprayed in the face with a substance inside a black canister. After spraying the employee, the suspect ran out of the store just as police were arriving.

Police say it was determined that the suspect had used pepper spray. The loss prevention officer was treated by rescue personnel on scene.

Marvin Howard Williams was arrested and taken to the Pinellas County Jail. He was charged with robbery with a weapon. Bail was set at $50,000.