RUSSELLVILLE — A man was caught coming out of a pharmacy with pills and other items Monday morning shortly after a break-in was reported at another pharmacy, police said.
The suspect initially fled in his automobile and then on foot before an officer was able to stop him with a stun gun, Russellville police investigator Lt. Scotty Lowery said.
Lowery identified the man as Matthew Justin Oneal, 28, of Russellville.
He said Oneal is charged with two counts each of third-degree burglary, attempt to commit a controlled-substance crime, second-degree theft, first-degree criminal mischief and one count of possession of a controlled substance.
“He had several thousand pills of controlled substances,” Lowery said.
Police later added a charge of second-degree assault on a police officer because Oneal is accused of injuring an officer’s shoulder while failing to cooperate with the officer, Lowery said.
Oneal was taken to the Franklin County Jail where he remains without bond because of a parole violation, Lowery said. Oneal was released from prison in December after serving time for theft and burglary charges, Lowery said.
Russellville police initially received a report at 6:10 a.m. of broken glass at Hometown Pharmacy, 609 Gandy St. Northeast, Lowery said. He said the drive-thru window was shattered and there was evidence someone had entered the building and left with items from inside the pharmacy.
“While still investigating that scene, one of our patrol units heard an audible alarm from another pharmacy and pulled in to investigate,” he said.
The officer saw a man coming out of that business, Franklin Pharmacy, 361 Mustang Drive, with items in his hand.
The man fled and the officer chased him, Lowery said.
Police Chief Chris Hargett said officer Joseph Franks saw the suspect leaving Franklin Pharmacy. Franks was in his patrol car and initially pursued the suspect with the vehicle but then stopped to continue the chase on foot into a wooded area. He used the stun gun when Oneal refused to respond to the officer’s commands, police said.
Lowery said numerous controlled substances and other items from the pharmacies were in Oneal’s possession.
“Once investigators arrived, they were able to tie the first break-in to the second break-in,” Lowery said.
Bernie Delinski can be reached at 256-740-5739 or bernie.delinski@TimesDaily.com.