Troy cop dragged as women try to flee from alleged shoplifting incident

Troy — Two women, police say, were charged Monday with dragging a police officer with their SUV while allegedly trying to flee a mall after committing retail fraud, Troy police said. 

Detroiters Markayla Darvay Pruitt, 23, and Zetorria Frances Ellis, 21, were allegedly involved in retail fraud at the JCPenney store at Oakland Mall around 5:40 p.m. Dec. 21.

Markayla Darvay Pruitt

As the women left the store, Troy police approached and the women ran to a 2008 black Saturn Vue in the parking lot. When one of the patrol officers attempted to apprehend the suspect sitting in the driver’s seat, the suspect drove off, ripping the door from the officer’s hand, police said.

As the vehicle accelerated, a second officer on the passenger side of the car became trapped and was dragged.

The driver hit two parked vehicles with its passenger side, authorities said, striking the officer in the process.

The first police officer continued to pursue the suspect's vehicle until it crashed head-on with a third vehicle. The driver continued to press the accelerator to try to get away. The pursuing officer drew his gun and ordered the woman to turn off the vehicle, police said. 

Zetorria Frances Ellis

Pruitt, who was allegedly driving the vehicle, and Ellis, were arrested and charged with first-degree retail fraud, assault, resisting and obstructing a police officer causing injury as well as assault with a dangerous weapon.

Troy Police Sgt. Meghan Lehman said the women are accused of trying to shoplift $1,800 in Nike apparel from JC Penney.

Lehman said the incident could have been a lot worse because of the holiday rush of shoppers there and potential for more people to get injured as the suspects attempted to flee.

The injured officer was transported to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

The women were arraigned Dec. 23 in 52-4 District Court.

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