Police say shoplifting suspect used her child as a human shield - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Police say shoplifting suspect used her child as a human shield

Posted: Updated:
CONROE, Texas (FOX 26) -

Conroe police say one woman shoplifted from a store with two children present and escaped from officers twice before they eventually took her into custody.

Officers arrived to the Wal-Mart store on North Loop 336 West on Wednesday in response to a reported shoplifting incident and identified Shauna Armstrong, 22, as one of two shoplifting suspects. The other suspect was a 16-year-old girl.

Police determined that Armstrong's 3-year-old child was with her when the shoplifting incident was reported. She requested that the officers allow a relative to get the child since she was being arrested and she also requested that she be allowed to get the child's personal items and car seat from her vehicle to give to the family member.

Officers let Armstrong walk with her child to the vehicle. She explained to officers that escorted her that she was scheduled to undergo surgery soon for a medical condition.

The escorting officers contacted a sergeant on duty to obtain a misdemeanor warrant that would allow her to be arrested at a later time. After Armstrong placed the child in the front passenger seat of her vehicle, police say she quickly closed and locked the vehicle doors, put the car into reverse and drove away from the store parking lot at a high rate of speed.

During the pursuit, police say Armstrong bypassed red traffic signals and stop signs. Officers watched Armstrong turn the vehicle into a side street and drive into a ditch. After driving the vehicle out of the ditch, police say Armstrong drove over the railroad tracks before crashing it into a concrete plant.

Police say Armstrong ran out of the vehicle with the child in her arms and fell into a wooded ravine. When officers tried to apprehend her, police say Armstrong used her child as human shield to keep them away.

Officers removed the child from Armstrong's grasp as she continued to resist being taken into custody. Police say she refused to obey any of the officers' commands and they eventually took her into custody.

After Armstrong complained of medical issues, officers contacted emergency medical services staff who recommended that she be taken to a hospital. She was admitted to an emergency room to be evaluated and officers were advised not to place her in handcuffs on the gurney because of her health trouble.

Armstrong complained to an officer that her condition was becoming worse and that she needed medical attention. When the officer sought hospital staff, police say Armstrong ran away in an unknown direction.

Police searched throughout the hospital and its perimeter but were not able to find her.

Officers took Armstrong into custody in Willis several hours after she ran away from the hospital. Police took Armstrong back to the hospital.

After Armstrong was released from the hospital, police took her to the Montgomery County jail where she was charged with organized retail theft, child endangerment, evading in a motor vehicle and escape.

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