Williamson Police make armed robbery arrest

Rachel Baldwin rbaldwin@civitasmedia.com

October 17, 2013

WILLIAMSON - A Williamson resident that is no stranger to local law enforcement officers is now behind bars and charged with one count of armed robbery.

Williamson Police Department (WPD) Lt. G.P. Dotson was inside the police station Tuesday evening when an elderly lady, who is handicapped and can only leave her West End apartment with the aid of a motorized wheelchair, came to the door in a frightened and upset manner asking for help. The victim relayed to the officer that she had just been robbed of a bag that contained her personal belongings by a lady known to her as Lisa Fields.

Fields, 27, of Marshall Street in Williamson, had allegedly first approached the elderly victim as she was traveling down the sidewalk on Pike Street. Fields is said to have asked for a cigarette, which the victim gave to her. The handicapped woman continued to travel down 3rd Avenue and entered the pedestrian underpass near the old Cinderella Theater that connects 3rd and 4th Avenues. Once inside the covered walkway, Fields once again made contact with the victim. The encounter ended when Fields grabbed the elderly lady by the hair and pressed the blade of a knife to her neck, threatening to harm her if she did not turn over a black bag she was carrying that contained numerous items.

A struggle ensued, but the victim was no match for her 27 year old attacker and lost the battle. Fields ran back out of the underpass in the direction of 3rd Avenue after gaining possession of the bag, while the victim managed to cross 4th Avenue to seek help at the police station.

Lt. Dotson immediately headed toward 3rd Avenue in pursuit of the robber. Upon arrival, he found WPD Patrolman J. Tincher having a conversation with the suspect, which stemmed from her running across the street in front of him in a hurried manner, nearly colliding with the cruiser. Fields had scattered the victim’s belongings down the street as she fled the scene, in an apparent attempt to find money or prescription medication among the stolen goods. The scattered items were retrieved by Dotson, minus $30 cash, and Fields was placed under arrest and was transported back to the police station where the victim positively identified the female as the person who had robbed her.

“There should be a stiffer penalty for anyone who commits a crime against the elderly or handicapped,” stated Lt. Dotson. “Nothing bothers me more than to see a victim harmed that cannot protect themselves. Criminals couldn’t stoop any lower than committing crimes such as this.”

Patrolman Tincher commented on the frightened state of mind the victim was in, saying that she was so scared that her attacker would seek revenge against her that she was hesitant to even file a criminal complaint.

‘We assured the victim that Ms. Fields was going to jail and would no longer be a threat to her,” remarked Tincher. “The safety and welfare of the elderly and handicapped in this town are one of our top priorities.”

Fields was arraigned by a Mingo County Magistrate on the charge of armed robbery, which is a felony capitol offense, and was remanded to the custody of the Southwestern Regional Jail with stipulations of no bond. While being patted down and searched by a female guard at the jail, the pocket knife allegedly used in the crime along with the $30 in cash taken from the victim were recovered.

Fields will be arraigned in Mingo County Circuit Court on this offense in the near future.