Shoplifting suspect fleeing police on bike struck by patrol vehicle, officials say

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A man accused of shoplifting was trying to flee on a bicycle from Salisbury police when an officer accidentally struck him with a patrol vehicle, authorities said in a news release.

ALSO READ: Retail theft on the rise and shoplifters are becoming more aggressive, CMPD says

Officers were called to the Walmart on Arlington Street following a report of shoplifting on Saturday. Joshua Goodman, 45, left the scene on a bike.

One officer chased him on foot and Officer C.L. Debonis followed him in a vehicle, police said.

“As the chase traveled into a grassy field near Walmart, the vehicle driven by Officer Debonis hit a small embankment and lost traction striking the suspect,” police said in the news release.

Goodman was taken to Novant Health Rowan Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

Debonis was screened for drug and alcohol, which is standard protocol when an officer is involved in an incident.

The state Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.


“Our prayers are certainly with Mr. Goodman today after this morning’s incident and wish him a swift recovery,” said Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes in the news release. “We also uplift Officer Debonis as she is evaluated at our local hospital. While state Highway Patrol thoroughly investigates this situation, we too will make sure that our proper procedures were applied during the chase by both officers.”

The in-car video was not turned on, but the officers’ body-worn cameras were active.

Debonis has been employed by SPD since 2018.

(Watch the video below: Retail theft on the rise and shoplifters are becoming more aggressive, CMPD says)