Hallandale Beach Police say a woman who stole DVDs from a Hallandale Beach WalMart fought with security guards then tried to make a desperate escape by jumping into the Intracoastal Waterway while holding her 5-year-old child in her arms.
The accused is charged with robbery, battery, child abuse and attempting a felony which could cause death after she allegedly stole five DVDs from the WalMart at 2551 East Hallandale Beach Boulevard Tuesday afternoon.
The accused was allegedly seen by a store security guard stuffing the DVDs into her purse. When the accused left the store, she was approached by the guard who chased her as she ran with her child under her arm across six lanes of traffic on Hallandale Beach Boulevard.
According to police, when the guard caught up to the accused, she struck him in the chest and ran into a nearby apartment building, running to the roof of the four-story building.
When the accused came down from the roof, she again hit the guard and took off on foot, police said. She ran to the waterway, where she jumped into water that was between 10 and 15 feet deep. Authorities state that neither the accused nor the 5-year-old child could swim.
The accused appeared in court on Wednesday before Broward Judge John Hurley, where she was ordered held without bond.
There are some things about this case that I do not like. For one, I believe that the robbery charge is excessive. It is alleged that the woman stole the DVDs and struck the store security officer while making her escape from the store. Technically, this is a strong-arm robbery, but I believe that the more appropriate charges would be a theft charge for the DVDs (likely petit theft since the DVDs are probably $20 apiece), and battery for the striking of the security officer. The child abuse charge will likely be filed as is.
However, I completely disagree with Judge Hurley's decision to hold this woman without bond. I respect Judge Hurley and often appear before him, but the charges that this woman is facing are all bondable offenses. Hopefully, she retains a criminal defense attorney who can file a motion to reduce bond so that the accused can get out of jail and work on regaining custody of her child.
Contact Eric Matheny if you have a criminal matter in Miami-Dade or Broward.