SAVANNAH, GA. (October 31, 2013): A Savannah man has been arrested on multiple charges after he ran from and then assaulted police who saw him stealing items during a shoplifting training exercise Wednesday afternoon.

Ronald Mikell, 27, of the 1100 block of East 33rd Street, was taken into custody after leading Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police on a foot chase through several wooded areas. He subsequently spit in a female police officer’s face, damaged a police transport vehicle and fashioned a weapon out of a part he pulled off the vehicle during transportation. He obeyed orders to surrender the weapon.

He has been charged with simple battery, interference with government property, felony theft by shoplifting, reckless conduct and two counts of obstruction.

Metro officers were participating with WalMart Asset Protection in the training at the store on the 6000 block of Ogeechee Road. They had detained five shoplifting suspects when Mikell was seen leaving the store with more than $1,100 in merchandise. He ignored orders to halt by West Chatham Precinct officers in pursuit.

A citizen in the parking lot saw the pursuit and reported seeing Mikell pull something from his pocket that appeared to be a weapon and he fired at the fleeing suspect to support the officers. He was interviewed by detectives who did not charge him.

A tire tool later was found abandoned along the route police had pursued Mikell.

Metro police suggest bystanders help police by reporting descriptions of suspects and flight routes, but to avoid getting physically involved in apprehensions.