Jeffrey Newell
Photo: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office
Photo: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office

Cops: Shoplifting suspect jumped over Perimeter Mall balcony to try to evade arrest

A man was literally a hop, skip and jump away from fleeing a local mall with stolen clothes before he was stunned with a Taser and arrested Saturday, police said.

Channel 2 Action News reported that Jeffrey Newell allegedly jumped over the balcony railing at Perimeter Mall from one floor to another after a scuffle with officers, then ran into a 5-year-old girl on the way into the parking garage.

He faces several charges, including felony shoplifting, reckless conduct, aggravated assault and obstruction of law enforcement officers, according to DeKalb County jail records.

The pandemonium began when the man allegedly shoplifted at Dillard’s and was accosted by officers, Channel 2 reported.

Police urged him to stop struggling, according to body camera footage.

“Don't do it. You're gonna get hurt!” an officer said, according to the video. 

That’s when officials say Newell jumped over the balcony railing, falling 20 to 30 feet.

He got up and ran out of the mall toward the parking garage, allegedly hitting the girl on the way.

“Out of nowhere, this madman just kind of comes up in between us and pushes her out of the way to make a path for himself,” the child’s mother, who was only identified as Portia, told Channel 2.

She said the impact was so violent that the girl’s shoe flew off and ended up in the man’s bag.

Newell also allegedly pulled a knife on someone while he was running.

Police ended up cornering him and using a Taser on him before taking him into custody.

“Anybody who would hit a 5-year-old, 40-pound child, I'm glad he's locked up,” the mother said.

The man had taken $1,200 worth of clothes, police said.

In other news:

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.