Three face felony charges after Walmart shoplifting investigation

By Melissa Sullivan

(WKTV) - Three Utica residents face felony charges after an investigation of shoplifting at a local Walmart, officials say.

Eddie Hamell, 33, faces two counts of resisting arrest, a felony charge of grand larceny, criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of drug paraphernalia. Lasonja Pulluiam, 30, faces a felony a charge of grand larceny and a disorderly conduct violation. Latreasa Jones, 47, faces two felony charges: grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, and a misdemeanor petit larceny charge.

According to police, around 10 a.m. Wednesday officers responded to Walmart at 710 Horatio St. on a report of several shoplifters. The officer spoke with store security, who was with a female they said was shoplifting along with another person. The female, later identified as Jones, was taken into custody without incident.

Store security then pointed out the second suspect to the officer, later identified as Hamell. When the officer approached him, Hamell became belligerent and threatened the officer. At one point, Hamell got into the officer's face and made threatening statements to him, police say.

According to officials, when the officer told Hamell he was being detained during the investigation, the suspect attempted to punch him. A struggle then ensued and the suspect's girlfriend got out of her car and attempted to interfere with the officers as they tried to make the arrest.

After the use of a Taser, Hamell was taken into custody and his girlfriend, later identified as Pulluiam, was also arrested, police say.

The amount of property stolen exceeded $1,086.

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