On Wednesday, July 14, a Walmart theft suspect was able to slip free from handcuffs and briefly escape police custody.

The ordeal began at Millbrook’s Walmart when Millbrook police officers responded to the business in regard to a theft in progress.

As officers arrived on scene, Walmart’s loss prevention personnel told officers that the offender fled the business on foot. Officers encountered the suspect in the parking lot, at which point the suspect ran through the parking lot and into a business where he was apprehended.

While exiting the business and awaiting transport, the suspect was able to escape from the handcuffs, but he was quickly recaptured and restrained.

The offender has been identified as Tommie L. Butler, a 32 year-old Montgomery resident. It was later determined that Butler took more than $500 worth of video games from Walmart.

Butler was transported to the Millbrook Police Department where he was placed under arrest and charged with third-degree theft of property, second-degree assault, third-degree escape and attempting to elude law enforcement.

He was transported to the Elmore County Jail, where he remains in custody with no bond pending warrants being obtained and served. 

“This is yet another example of the epic failure of our current justice system,” said Millbrook Police Chief P.K. Johnson. “This young man has absolutely no business walking the streets, free to commit more crimes against society.”

Johnson said Butler is currently out of jail on probation for multiple burglary charges in Montgomery County. He is a wanted fugitive in both Chilton and Jefferson counties and both counties hold felony warrants, and he has an extensive criminal history.

“Yet, once again he’s out here committing more crimes, fleeing from law enforcement and resisting arrest,” Johnson said. “One of our officers sustained minor injuries while apprehending Butler, hence the assault charge. We intend to prosecute this individual to the fullest extent the law will allow. I’m extremely proud of our officers that were involved in apprehending this offender today and I commend their efforts. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it. We are tired of people that have the thought process that they’re going to come into our city, commit a crime and jump on that interstate and run back home. You may run, you may even elude apprehension today, but chances are, much like this young man today, you’ll go to jail tired, having further complicated your situation by attempting to elude officers and resisting arrest.”