Shoplifter Head-Butts Employee, Drops 3 Year Old, Police Say


A Fayetteville woman is on the run after police say she dropped a three-year-old boy and head-butted an employee while Walmart workers tried to apprehend her during a shoplifting incident.

Police are not releasing the suspect’s name, but later arrested the suspect’s mother, who arrived for the child after the incident.

Karen S. Clark, the suspect’s mother (pictured above), was arrested Sunday on suspicion of obstructing governmental operations. She was released the same day from the Washington County Detention Center on $535 bond, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Police said Clark would not acknowledge her relationship to the child or the suspect. She also continuously called and texted the suspect while being questioned by investigators, according to a preliminary report issued in Fayetteville District Court.

Officers responded Sunday afternoon to the Walmart store on Mall Avenue in reference to a shoplifting complaint from the company. Police said a black female suspect shoplifted merchandise from the business and was taken back to Walmart’s loss prevention office after being caught.

“While being processed, the suspect pushed a Walmart employee into a shopping cart, causing the cart to flip over and a child to fall to the ground,” the preliminary report states.

The woman then head-butted another employee, left the two-year-old boy and fled from the store, police said.

The preliminary report states the ensuing investigation revealed the suspect fled the Walmart with Clark’s help. Clark denied ever coming to the store with the suspect, although officers later retrieved the vehicle they said the two women arrived in.

While being questioned by investigators, Clark continuously called and texted with the suspect, but would not hand the phone over to authorities at the time, according to the preliminary report. After determining the suspect was Clark’s daughter, police arrested Clark on suspicion of misdemeanor charges.

Police still have not found the suspect. Clark has a misdemeanor court date set for Wednesday in Fayetteville at 9 a.m., according to the preliminary report.


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