MERCED — A Merced County sheriffs deputy suffered an injury Tuesday during a scuffle with a suspected camera thief who was eventually shocked with a stun gun and arrested.
Jerry Ray Pitcock, 43, was booked at the Merced County Jail on suspicion of felony assault on a peace officer and felony burglary, and a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest. He was still in custody Wednesday, the Merced County Sheriffs Department said, and his bail was set at $31,500.
Deputy Delray Shelton suffered a finger fracture on his right hand, but remained on duty. Shelton also serves as the departments official spokesman.
Shelton said he responded just before noon Tuesday to the Merced County Law Library on West 22nd Street and was told a man had just stolen a security camera.
He (Pitcock) was crossing Courthouse Park and I chased him on foot, Shelton said Wednesday.
Shelton tracked the suspect to an alley east of M Street and started to take him into custody when the man, later identified as Pitcock, began to fight. Shelton injured his hand during the ensuing struggle, which last several minutes and continued even after other deputies arrived on scene, he said.
Another deputy eventually shocked Pitcock with a stun gun and he was taken into custody. The camera was recovered, according to the sheriffs department.
He (Pitcock) has many prior contacts with law enforcement dating back many, many years and is well-known for fighting with officers, Shelton said.
According to Merced County Superior Court records, Pitcock has more than 30 court cases dating back to 2002, with convictions ranging from misdemeanor theft to felony assault.
Staff writer Rob Parsons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 385-2482.