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Assault, theft lead to arrest of Omak man at Walmart

Suspect allegedly stole a woman’s purse last week

— An Omak man has been charged with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and third-degree theft after allegedly taking a purse, running out of the Omak Walmart store and stabbing a customer who ran after him.

Malcom David Carson, 33, was charged May 16 in Okanogan County Superior Court.

A report by Omak Police Department Sgt. Jeff Koplin said he was dispatched to the store, 902 Engh Road, on a report of a purse snatching.

When he arrived, Washington State Patrol Trooper Maurice Goodall had stopped and handcuffed Carson near Omak River Road, which runs between Walmart and the Home Depot.

Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office deputy Josh Brown also responded.

“I saw a woman’s purse lying on the ground near the suspect,” Koplin wrote in his report, which accompanied the court filing.

Items had spilled from the purse and were lying on the ground. About 30 feet to the north, a knife was found lying on the ground.

Goodall pointed out another man, Joseph D. Lewis, 28, Omak, who had a deep cut to the top of his left forearm, Koplin wrote.

“Lewis said he had been standing outside the store, waiting for his wife to exit, when he heard a commotion near the general merchandise door of the store,” Koplin’s report said. “Lewis said he saw Carson run out of the store carrying a woman’s purse.”

Store greeter Ervin Caveness allegedly had told Carson to stop.

“Lewis said his wife came out of the store and said Carson had stolen something from the store,” Koplin’s report said.

Lewis and his wife got into their vehicle and followed Carson as he ran toward the Home Depot, the report said. At first, Carson apparently thought Lewis was going to give him a ride, but then took off when Lewis told him to drop the purse.

Lewis allegedly took off on foot and tried to tackle Carson. As they struggled, “he saw that Carson had a knife in his hand with the blade open.

“Lewis said he then got Carson in a choke hold because he was in fear of the knife,” the report said.

Carson allegedly dropped the knife and Lewis told his wife to move it away.

Goodall then arrived and handcuffed Carson.

“Lewis said Carson had cut him during the altercation, but he did not realize that until the altercation was over due to the chaos at the time,” Koplin’s report said.

Lewis’ wife took him to Mid-Valley Hospital, Omak, where he received six stitches.

Koplin’s report said Walmart employees scanned 18 items that had spilled from the purse and found $180.43 worth of merchandise, mostly makeup and toiletry items, that allegedly had been taken.

In an interview, Koplin said the purse appeared to be older and worn. The purse’s owner was not identified.

The maximum penalty for conviction on the assault charge is 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine. It qualifies as a “most serious offense” under the state’s “three strikes” law.

The maximum penalty on the theft charge is 364 days in jail or a $5,000 fine, or both, plus restitution and other costs.

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