Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

January 9, 2013

Off-duty cop faces months of recovery

Injured in Walmart case

VALDOSTA — An off-duty officer injured during a weekend shoplifting arrest suffered multiple fractures to an ankle and will be on crutches for an estimated four months.

Alvin May was off-duty Saturday afternoon when he offered to help an Inner Perimeter Road Walmart security employee with a shoplifting arrest, Valdosta Police Cmdr. Brian Childress said Tuesday.

“Lots of folks would have just walked on,” Childress said of the off-duty officer helping the Walmart security person, “but Alvin May in our book is a hero. He is an example of what law-enforcement is about and should be about.”

May had finished shopping with his wife and their young child. He saw the Walmart employee confronting a man accused of shoplifting a video-game item. May offered to help the Walmart employee. The off-duty police officer talked the suspect back into the store’s security area near the right-side Walmart entrance, Childress said.

As reported in

Sunday’s edition of The Times, a uniformed Valdosta police officer arrived. Police and store security discovered video-game equipment and a kitchen knife on the suspect. Police attempted to handcuff the suspect, who resisted. His struggle with the uniformed officer and May burst through the security room door into the Walmart entranceway.

The officers wrestled on the floor with the suspect as Walmart security personnel asked customers to clear the area. His shirt coming off, the suspect began tearing free of the officers. The police officer pepper-sprayed the suspect who continued to rise, his pants falling around his ankles.

Breaking free from the officers, the suspect stomped May’s ankle. May felt something pop in his leg. The suspect tried fleeing with his pants down. The uniformed officer grabbed him. Their struggle continued into the parking lot as a second uniformed officer helped subdue and handcuff the suspect.

The suspect struggled again as officers tried placing him in the back of a patrol car. Three uniformed officers were needed to place the suspect in the car.

On the way to the Lowndes County Jail, the suspect kicked out the patrol car window and escaped the vehicle. With help from a Lowndes County sheriff’s deputy, authorities soon had the suspect back in custody by using a taser.

Spencer Lamar Lonon, 18, is charged with theft by shoplifting, aggravated battery, multiple counts of felony obstruction of a police officer, simple battery, and criminal damage to government property, Childress said.

Meanwhile, May was on the floor between the two outer entrance doors of the Walmart. His leg hurt and he felt the stinging after effects of the pepper spray.

His wife and child were inside the Walmart. Waiting for the arrival of an ambulance, May asked a friend to let his wife and child know he was going to be all right. At this time, the entranceway had been blocked off but was still filled with pepper spray.

Childress said Tuesday that May suffered multiple fractures and the injury may require surgery. He is using crutches and may be on them for an estimated four months. May also faces long-term effects of arthritis from the injury.

“It will be a while before he can return to full duty,” the police commander said.

May has been with the VPD since September 2002 and is currently assigned to the department’s traffic unit, as well as the H.E.A.T. unit. May is certified in DUI detection and certified as a drug-recognition expert.

Childress emphasized that May was not officially on duty Saturday when he offered his help. He may have gone to Walmart as a husband and father shopping but he left the store as a police officer who did his job.

Text Only
Local News
  • echols_alapapa.jpg WWALS gets grant from river network

    The Willacoochee, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River Systems Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) received a $500 Alapaha Water Trail Grant from the Georgia River Network

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140718-ARJim2.jpg Teacher at home anywhere in the world

    Variety is the spice of life. South Georgia is home to a diverse group of people, each with a unique life story. One man with glorious tales of travel and selfless volunteer work is Jim Kokoruda.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • fire2a.jpg Blaze damages North Lowndes home

    Lowndes County Fire Rescue responded to a fire call Sunday at 3756 Cross Creek Circle near Bemiss Road.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • 140719-KidsInc3 copy.jpg Kids get a taste of retail operations

    Valdosta Mall shoppers may have noticed a few additional shopping options Saturday as they walked through center court.
    Children ranging in age from 6 to 15 years old set up booths and sold products to consumers.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140719-UnseenProject7 copy.jpg CrossPointe welcomes ‘Unseen’ travelers home

    CrossPointe Church members gathered Saturday to greet their pastor and fellow congregationalists returning from a filmed two-month-long motorcycle trip across the nation and back.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • election.jpg Runoff set for Tuesday

    Advanced voting ended Friday for the runoff election from the May 20 primary.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Modern Woodmen RC copy.JPG Woodmen welcomed to Valdosta

    The The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce and its Ambassadors welcomed the Valdosta chapter of Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, July 15.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140718-Photo_Contest002.jpg First-time entrant wins People’s Choice Photo Contest

    The Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts hosted the 2014 City of Valdosta People’s Choice Photo Contest, the sixth of its kind, Friday evening. For Megan Knebel, best of show winner, this was her first time entering into a photo contest.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • police-lights-backgrounds-for-powerpoint.jpg Hotel workers’ tip leads to arrests

    A tip from hotel employees about suspicious activity led to the arrest of two Florida women on prostitution and drug charges Thursday.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140718-I75-Wreck005.jpg Interstate 75 wreck victim life-flighted

    A multi-vehicle wreck on I-75 in Lowndes County Friday resulted in injuries, according to authorities.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

Top News

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results