An off-duty Memphis police officer allegedly tried to steal a Make-A-Wish Foundation $1,500 gift card from a local family.
The bizarre incident in which the cop allegedly head-butted a family member in the course of the attempted robbery was caught on surveillance video at Memphis International Airport.
The officer apparently rushed the Make-A-Wish Foundation representative who was at the airport to present the family who were embarking on a Make-A-Wish-sponsored trip with the gift card. For reasons that are so far unexplained, the officer apparently knew about the handoff. “According to an affidavit, off-duty MPD officer Ronald Harris, approached a female and took a paper bag, which contained 5 St. Jude T-shirts and a credit card. The credit card was for the Moore family and had $1,500 limit. The woman was at the airport to give the bag to Nathan Moore, a member of the family being sent off on a Make-A-Wish trip. Police say Ronald Harris grabbed the bag and tried to take off. Moore then grabbed Harris and a fight started. Harris took off and Moore was hurt during the fight.”
Airport police took the officer, 34, who was attempting to flee into custody. Moore reportedly required stitches for the wound on his forehead, although he did leave on the plane with his family as scheduled.
The officer, a 12-year Memphis PD veteran, has been suspended from the force pending an internal investigation and is being held on a $25,000 bond for several criminal charges including robbery and aggravated assault pending a Monday court appearance.
The officer in the alleged Make-A-Wish robbery reportedly may have other issues. “Reports show he was already on leave seeing a psychologist and he may suffer a mental disorder. His wife said he’s threatened to kill her in the past.”
A Memphis police official released a statement about the incident:
“It is certainly disheartening and I am deeply saddened that an organization as wonderful as Make-A-Wish was victimized by someone sworn to protect, especially a member of the Memphis Police Department. Thankfully, no one sustained serious injuries. This officer is now facing serious charges for his criminal behavior. The Airport Police is to be commended for their quick response and professionalism.”