By GARY POPP
Two Jeffersonville men were arrested after a woman waiting at a bus stop near Clark Memorial Hospital on Wednesday afternoon had her backpack snatched from her arms, police reported.
Tarmon Pirtle, 24, National Avenue, is believed to have wrestled the backpack away from the woman then fled on foot. He has been preliminarily charged by the Jeffersonville Police Department with class B felony robbery, class D felony theft and class A misdemeanor battery.
Rickie Stovall, 50, Mechanic Street, is accused of acting as an accomplice in the alleged crime. He faces the same preliminary robbery and theft charges, as well as class B misdemeanor false reporting information.
The woman told police that her and her boyfriend were waiting for a bus to arrive at 1220 Missouri Ave. about 1 p.m. when a man, later identified as Pirtle, grabbed her backpack that was wrapped around her arm and caused her to be dragged into the street. The officer reported the woman was found with a minor abrasion on her arm.
The woman’s boyfriend ran after Pirtle, and during the chase, police were called and alerted that the two men were running toward Greenwood Apartments near Pennsylvania Avenue. Police responded to the housing complex and found Pirtle, who matched the description that had been provided, sweating profusely.
The officer reported he watched as Pirtle opened a door of a nearby apartment, stuck his head inside for a moment, then shut the door and walked away from the unit. As the officer walked toward Pirtle, an occupant of the home came outside and told the officer he didn’t know the man who had just opened his apartment door.
When the officer told Pirtle to stop, “ ... he [Pirtle] said he wasn’t going to stop to talk to me, and he continued to walk northbound through the apartment complex, attempting to avoid contact with me,” according to the police report.
The officer then pulled out a Taser and order Pirtle to the ground. Another officer arrived to the scene for backup, and Pirtle then complied and was taken into custody.
The woman’s boyfriend then arrived on the scene and told police that Pirtle was the man he was chasing and that had stolen his girlfriend’s backpack moments earlier. Police also interviewed a woman who said she witnessed the robbery and assault at the Missouri Avenue bus stop.
Stovall was located on a motor scooter in the area where Pirtle was taken into custody.
A witness reported to police that Pirtle was seen passing the stolen backpack off to another man, later identified as Stovall. The witness also reported that after Stovall received the bag, he dropped it into a nearby sewer drain.
It is not clear if the backpack was recovered and returned the woman.