TEXARKANA -- A fugitive who is wanted in Arkansas was taken into custody by Texarkana, Texas, police Dec. 10 with help from a Texarkana couple, including a woman who is nine months pregnant.
Demontrous O'Keith Witcher, 31, was dressed in women's clothing when a member of the public spotted him at the Texas Roadhouse restaurant that evening and called police, according to officials with the Bowie County district attorney's office. Witcher had been a fugitive for about seven months, and his photo had been published in the media.
Witcher was scheduled to go on trial in May in a shoplifting case. When he failed to show for jury selection May 9, a warrant for his arrest was issued by District Judge John Tidwell.
Witcher caught sight of officers entering the restaurant Sunday and began to make a hasty departure, police said.
A man watching the scene stuck out his foot, causing Witcher to stumble. The man's girlfriend, who is pregnant, grabbed Witcher by the shirt, and he fell into a row of bar stools. Witcher was then taken into custody by Texarkana, Texas, officers who had surrounded the restaurant.
Witcher has multiple pending theft charges and a pending charge of a prohibited item in a correctional facility, according to court records. His felony theft charge stems from a shoplifting case on Feb. 22, 2016, at Ulta Beauty in Texarkana, Texas.
Police said the suspect in the shoplifting case was dressed in women's clothes when he put more than $1,000 in perfume in a purse. Witcher was identified as a suspect in the beauty store theft after a still shot of the shoplifter taken from video surveillance was published on social media. At an interview with law enforcement officers in connection with a different matter on March 3, 2016, Witcher reportedly admitted that he was the person in the photo, but denied he was shoplifting.
If convicted of shoplifting, Witcher faces six months to two years in a state jail. For failing to appear for his trial, Witcher faces two to 10 years in prison. Witcher could face an additional felony charge for fleeing from officers Sunday.
Witcher has an active warrant for his arrest in Miller County as well. He is charged with hindering apprehension in Arkansas, an offense punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
State Desk on 12/17/2017
Print Headline: Couple assists in fugitive's capture; Pregnant woman helps stop escape