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Robbery suspect injured during arrest

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Trish Bennett, Editor

Parris Von Cofer Jr. is pictured in these surveillance photos from a robbery at the Duke and Duchess store on Sept. 17. (Photos courtesy of the Circleville Police Department)

CIRCLEVILLE – A robbery suspect who was chased from the Duke and Duchess store with a baseball bat last week is currently hospitalized in Columbus following his arrest by the Worthington Police Department.

Parris Von Cofer Jr., 38, of Columbus, is facing local charges of aggravated robbery and theft of a motor vehicle, along with additional charges in Worthington of receiving stolen property and obstructing official business following his arrest on Sunday.

Cofer remains in Grant Medical Center for treatment of facial fractures and an elbow fracture from a fall after having a taser deployed twice during his apprehension.

According to Detective Tom Royster, Circleville Police Department, Cofer had been unofficially staying at the Guest House in Circleville prior to the robbery attempt at Duke and Duchess Sept. 17, in which he threatened the clerk with a gun and demanded money.

When the clerk asked to see the gun, Cofer produced a pocket knife, and the clerk chased him from the store with a baseball bat.

Cofer allegedly stole a vehicle from another resident of the Guest House, and he is believed to have robbed a Columbus-area Circle K gas station the following day.

Cofer will be transferred into the custody of Circleville Police upon his release from the hospital, Royster said.

According to Worthington Police, Cofer was spotted by an officer about 7:45 p.m. Sunday placing cases of beer into the stolen vehicle in the parking lot at Kroger on West Wilson Bridge Road.

A brief chase ensued, but Cofer reportedly pulled into the Worthington mall parking lot and got out of the vehicle as the cruiser came to a stop behind him, taking a stance directly facing the officer.

The officer drew his weapon and ordered Cofer to the ground, but Cofer fled on foot and was located by another Worthington Police officer, who also ordered him to the ground without success.

A taser was deployed, but the barbs did not fully connect, and Cofer reportedly fled again. The officer reloaded his taser during the foot chase and deployed it a second time, finally bringing Cofer to the ground.

Officers later determined the beer Cofer was loading into the stolen vehicle had been shoplifted from the Worthington Kroger store.

A passenger in the vehicle, Willie E. Williams III, was detained and questioned, but no new charges were filed. He was arrested on an outstanding theft warrant from Zanesville, however, and was transported to the police department for processing.

Circleville Police are preparing the case for presentation to an upcoming session of the Pickaway County Grand Jury, Royster said.

This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal