74ºF

Accused shoplifter briefly escapes custody

Actions get teen's charges escalated from 1 misdemeanor to 7 felonies

photo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 19-year-old arrested Thursday and accused of shoplifting from the Normandy Boulevard Walmart, texted a friend to let him out of the back of a police car, but his freedom was short-lived and he's now in much more serious trouble.

Jamaine Cooper was handcuffed and put in the back of a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office cruiser about 11 a.m. while the officer wrote up the arrest for walking out the door without paying for a large comforter set. Cooper managed to get the handcuffs in front of him, and retrieved his cellphone and texted 19-year-old Courtney Davis, who came and opened the door to the cruiser, allowing him to run away.

Cooper stole a car and sped through the parking lot, striking five vehicles. The last crash disabled his car and Cooper was captured at gunpoint after a foot chase.

In addition to the initial misdemeanor shoplifting charge, Cooper is now charged with auto theft, five counts of hit-and-run with property damage and escape. Davis was charged with aiding escape and possession of marijuana.

According to the police report, Davis admitted it was "the dumbest thing I could do in my life."