By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – While not the cinematic masterpiece crafted by Vittorio Di Sica depicting man’s struggle against a hostile universe, a bicycle theft occurred in Crockett on Sunday, March 26. The theft, however, did underscore the ongoing battle to keep drugs off the streets of East Texas.

Cedric Demond Coleman was taken into custody and charged with one count of robbery as well as one count of possession of a controlled substance after he crashed an automobile and then proceeded to “bike jack” a 67-year-old man’s bicycle.

According to an arrest report, Crockett Police Department officers were dispatched to the 100 block of West Goliad Avenue at approximately 2:20 p.m. on Sunday in reference to a one vehicle wreck.

Once the officers arrived at the scene, they were informed the driver of the vehicle, wearing a white shirt, had fled the location in the general direction of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, the report stated.

One of the responding officers – Officer Forrest McClain – proceeded down MLK, Jr. Boulevard where he encountered an elderly male individual who informed the law enforcement official, “… a subject wearing a white shirt had taken his bicycle from him and began riding it down Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard towards West Bell Avenue,” the arrest report indicated.

McClain stated in the report as he began to look for the suspected bike thief, he observed a male individual in blue jeans and a white T-shirt peddling a bicycle in the 800 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

“As I approached the subject, I used my patrol unit’s PA system and advised the subject to stop. The subject then stopped and I exited my patrol unit,” the report stated. “Once I was out of the patrol unit, I drew my duty weapon and advised the subject to get on the ground and to place his hands behind his back. The subject complied and was placed in hand restraints. Once the subject was detained he was identified as Cedrick Coleman.”

While McClain questioned Coleman, the police officer indicated in the report “… Coleman appeared to be under the influence of a drug called phencyclidine, also known as PCP.”

After Coleman had been detained, it was determined Coleman had stolen the bicycle while the bicycle’s owner was pushing it down the roadway.

“Coleman approached (the bicycle owner) and pulled the bike from his grasp, causing him to stumble. Coleman then got onto the bike and began peddling it down Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard,” the report stated.

The investigation also revealed Coleman was the driver of the vehicle which had wrecked on Goliad Avenue and when the vehicle’s contents were inventoried, the arrest affidavit indicated PCP was found in the vehicle.

Coleman was booked into the Houston County Jail on charges of robbery and possession of a controlled substance, penalty group one, greater than or equal to four grams, but less than 200 grams.

Both charges are considered second degree felonies. According to Section 12.33 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for any term of not more than 20 years or less than two years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the second degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”

Coleman is held at the Houston County Jail on a no-bail parole warrant.

Will Johnson may be reached via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.