Tulsa Police: Verizon Workers Pepper Sprayed By Suspect After Stealing Phone


Wednesday, February 19th 2020, 11:40 pm
By: Kristen Weaver


Two Verizon employees tackled a young man trying to steal a phone and held him until police arrived - all while he was dousing them with pepper spray.

Verizon manager Riley Hodges said something didn't feel right when a young man asked to buy an iPhone 11 for his friend at their 71st and Memorial store.

“He said, ‘I just want to buy it out for my friend,’ so there were a few red flags there,” said Hodges.

Hodges said he handed the teen a phone.

“We pulled out a white one and he said he wanted a black one,” Hodges said.

He said that's when the teen bolted outside. Hodges, and the store's district manager ran outside too.

"I was shouting behind him and letting him know I could keep up with him,” Hodges said. “He pulled out some mace and sprayed me."

Hodges said the suspect continued to pepper spray when they tackled him and held him down while calling police. 

"We were blind for 30 minutes, holding on for dear life waiting for the cops to get here,” he said.

He said the suspect told them he had a knife and getaway driver.

"I put him in a chokehold, and he passed out,” said Hodges.

Police said nobody had serious injuries. As for Hodges, he said it's a day he won't soon forget.

"I hope he gets the help everybody deserves and can turn it around," Hodges said.

Police said the juvenile was taken to a hospital and will likely face charges in juvenile court.

The managers said the teen was wearing what appeared to be an ankle monitor.

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