The Smithville Police Department has charged a local man with Robbery and Coercion of a Witness.
Chief Thomas J. Stufano says officers and detectives from the Smithville Police Department arrested 22 year old Joshua Cripps of 541 Hodges Road on Thursday.
He says the case had originally started on Wednesday night when a Smithville Food Lion employee got off work and entered his vehicle to go home. Two vehicles pulled behind and along side the victim's vehicle blocking him from leaving the parking lot. It is reported that Cripps, who was known to the victim and driving one of the vehicles, got out of his automobile and approached the victim demanding $50.00. Cripps continued yelling at the victim as he grabbed the victim's shirt collar and tried to pull him through the window, repeatedly striking the victim's head on the window frame. The victim advised Cripps that he did not have any money due to it being so close to Christmas. The suspect continued roughing up the victim who stated that he felt in fear of his life and finally relinquished a $100.00 bill from his wallet. The two cars then fled the scene. The victim stated that he was fearful that the suspect would retaliate against him if the incident was reported, but he finally decided to make the complaint the following morning.
Chief Stufano says shortly before his arrest, Cripps made repeated calls to the victim stating that the incident should not be reported to the Police or the victim would be harmed. The investigation continues with additional arrests expected.
Cripps was arrested and booked into the DeKalb County Jail with a Bond of $25,000. The Probation Department notified Police that they would also be serving a No Bond Violation of Probation warrant on Cripps at the Jail.
Chief Stufano says the Smithville Police Department is committed to keeping it's citizens safe and actively investigates all crimes of this nature. If you have information to this or any other crime you are encouraged to contact the Smithville Police Department.