Off-duty police officer allegedly attempts to steal $1,500 - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Make-A-Wish reviewing protocol after off-duty officer attempts to steal $1,500

Harris is charged with robbery, aggravated assault, resisting official detention and evading arrest. Harris is charged with robbery, aggravated assault, resisting official detention and evading arrest.

(WMC) - Following the arrest of an off-duty Memphis police officer accused of trying to steal from a nonprofit organization, WMC Action News 5 is taking a closer look at his history and how that agency is changing protocol to protect families.

Officer Ronald Harris has been with the Memphis Police Department for 12 years. On Monday, WMC Action News 5 got a look at his personnel and internal affairs files, which were more than 100 pages long with a lot of paper trail.

An airport police report says a Make-A-Wish family was traveling with a child under the age of 4 when an agency volunteer arrived at the airport. With her was a brown paper bag filled with five t-shirts and a $1,500 pre-paid Visa check card for the family.

Harris reportedly tried to take the bag twice; both times the Make-A-Wish father stopped him. But it took airport and Memphis Police several tries to get Harris in custody after he kicked open a squad car door and ran.

According to an affidavit, police eventually had to use a pair of leg-cuffs to get Harris under arrest.

Harris' personnel file contained several violations including damage to a squad car, radio violations, sick leave policy abuse, sleeping on the job, failure to get approval for additional employment, and failure to appear in court. Most resulted in a written reprimand or a short suspension.

Despite a lengthy list of violations, Harris had no history of violence or behavior like Saturday's; behavior that almost ended a wish trip before it began.

"A Make-A-Wish experience is a life altering experience in a positive way, and it's a wonderful healing time for the family to be together, to forget about the situation that brought them to wish in the first place," said Make-A-Wish Mid-South Director of Community Outreach Miranda Harbor.

Make-A-Wish Mid-South will not disclose where the family was headed, only that the child has a life threatening medical condition. They say the family made it to their destination safely and that the organization is working with airport officials to review their policy.

"People make poor choices, and we don't know the decisions that lead this person to do what they did. We are just fortunate that we have the Memphis Police Department and the airport," added Liz Nelson, Make-A-Wish President and CEO.

Harris is set to appear in court June 16, and has until that time to find an attorney.

Sunday night Police Director Toney Armstrong released the following statement:

"It is certainly disheartening and I am deeply saddened that an organization as wonderful as Make-A-Wish was victimized by someone sworn to protect, especially a member of the Memphis Police Department. Thankfully, no one sustained serious injuries. This officer is now facing serious charges for his criminal behavior. The Airport Police is to be commended for their quick response and professionalism."

Make-A-Wish Mid-South released this statement saying in part:

"We are cooperating with the investigation and immediately adjusted our protocols to ensure the safety of our volunteers and wish families..."

Harris has been relieved of duty pending the outcome of the investigation and is being held on $25,000 bond.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved. 
  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • BREAKING

    Meals on Wheels discovers man tied up inside his home on Monday, one suspect still being sought

    Meals on Wheels discovers man tied up inside his home on Monday, one suspect still being sought

    Tuesday, April 25 2017 2:20 PM EDT2017-04-25 18:20:25 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said 'Meals on Wheels' discovered a man tied up inside his home in Starks Monday.

    More >>

    Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said 'Meals on Wheels' discovered a man tied up inside his home in Starks Monday.

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    Louisiana authorities continue search for escaped Mississippi inmate, lockdown lifted at Washington-Marion

    Louisiana authorities continue search for escaped Mississippi inmate, lockdown lifted at Washington-Marion

    Tuesday, April 25 2017 1:37 PM EDT2017-04-25 17:37:40 GMT

    Louisiana State Police is searching for a suspect near Grace and Alice Streets following a vehicle pursuit, authorities said. Washington-Marion is on lockdown, said Sgt. James Anderson, Troop D spokesman. The vehicle was stolen and the suspect is believed to be an escaped convict from Mississippi. When the suspect got out of vehicle, it was still moving, Anderson said. A trooper jumped in  the vehicle to stop it from hitting a house. Anderson urged residents to be cautious. ...

    More >>

    Louisiana State Police is searching for a suspect near Grace and Alice Streets following a vehicle pursuit, authorities said. Washington-Marion is on lockdown, said Sgt. James Anderson, Troop D spokesman. The vehicle was stolen and the suspect is believed to be an escaped convict from Mississippi. When the suspect got out of vehicle, it was still moving, Anderson said. A trooper jumped in  the vehicle to stop it from hitting a house. Anderson urged residents to be cautious. ...

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    House on Tank Farm Road fired upon twice over weekend

    House on Tank Farm Road fired upon twice over weekend

    Tuesday, April 25 2017 12:27 PM EDT2017-04-25 16:27:52 GMT
    (Source: Raycom)(Source: Raycom)

    A house on Tank Farm Road was fired upon twice over the weekend, authorities with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office said. The first incident happened Friday night, followed by another incident Sunday night, said Cmdr. James McGee, CPSO spokesman. No one was injured. Deputies are following leads, but don’t yet have a suspect or motive. “We are following every lead we get,” McGee said. McGee asked anyone with information to

    More >>

    A house on Tank Farm Road was fired upon twice over the weekend, authorities with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office said. The first incident happened Friday night, followed by another incident Sunday night, said Cmdr. James McGee, CPSO spokesman. No one was injured. Deputies are following leads, but don’t yet have a suspect or motive. “We are following every lead we get,” McGee said. McGee asked anyone with information to

    More >>
Powered by Frankly