Man arrested after punching Salem cop

SALEM – A man accused of hitting Lt. Donn Beeson in the face after fleeing Walmart during an alleged shoplifting incident Wednesday is facing several charges, including assault on a police officer.

John Mohr, 29, of 174 W. Fifth St., was also charged with theft, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia and taken to the Columbiana County jail after being wrestled to the ground and stunned with a taser.

Police were called to Walmart at 8:56 a.m. for a man wearing a blue coat and cream-colored hoodie underneath who ran from the store without paying for merchandise.

According to an affidavit, the man had run northbound from the parking lot by the Verizon store and across the street, running up over the dirt to the west of Cunningham Road. Witnesses said he took off his blue coat and put the hoodie on the outside, with the coat underneath, and continued running west.

Beeson saw him walking in a field on East State Street and told him to stop by Sleepy Hollow Sleep Shop, but he refused. When Beeson attempted to take him into custody, he started shoving and was taken to the ground and then stunned with the taser after hitting the officer and causing a bloody nose.

He continued to fight with the officer and grabbed at the taser. Even after a second officer arrived, he continued to resist. Both officers were on the ground with him in a physical confrontation before getting him secured.

An estimated $313 worth of merchandise was found in his coat pockets, according to the police report.

Possible other drug charges are pending against him for having prescription drugs in a non-prescribed bottle not belonging to him, the report said.