Memphis Officer Allegedly Steals From Make-A-Wish Family At Airp - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Memphis Officer Allegedly Steals From Make-A-Wish Family At Airport

Posted: Updated:
  • Memphis Officer Allegedly Steals From Make-A-Wish Family At AirportMore>>

  • Get FOX13 Breaking News on your mobile device

    Get FOX13 Breaking News on your mobile device

    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
    Get breaking news alerts on your mobile device direct from the FOX13 news desk. On average, you could get as many as three to five alerts on a busy day, as the news merits. Just fill out the form below
    Get breaking news alerts on your mobile device direct from the FOX13 news desk. On average, you could get as many as three to five alerts on a busy day, as the news merits. Just fill out the form below
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) - As a police officer he's supposed to protect and serve, but Memphis International Airport Police say Memphis Police Officer Ronald Harris was trying to serve himself.

In the process his actions put a child's wish in jeopardy and now Officer Harris is in some serious trouble after he allegedly tried to steal from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-South and a family in need.

DOWNLOAD: Read Memphis Airport incident report against Ronald Harris

What should have been a joy filled Make-A-Wish Foundation send off for a family and their child Saturday morning at the airport was anything but.  

"Certainly we want every Make-A-Wish experience to be the best that it can possibly be," said Miranda Harbor with Make-A-Wish Mid-South.
 
It all when down Saturday inside Memphis International Airport when St. Jude Children's Research Hospital employee Kimberly Preston, acting as a Make-A-Wish volunteer, made her way to the Delta Air Lines terminal for the grand send off to the family in need.

MORE: Off-Duty Memphis Police Officer Charged With Airport Assault

"Their focus is on the wish trip," said Liz Nelson with Make-A-Wish Mid-South

Aside from the trip there was supposed to be a transfer of a bag full of goodies for the Wish family.

"We have a Make-A-Wish volunteer whose been through training that meets the family, gives them Make-A-Wish t-shirts, give them their spending money for the trip," Nelson said.

Inside a plain brown paper bag were five Make-A-Wish t-shirts and a credit card with $1,500 of vacation cash. But according to an Airport Police report, that's where this story turns almost unbelievable.

"Obviously it was a shocking incident," Harbor said.

While sitting in the airport terminal with the bag close by, a man casually came up and attempted to take the brown paper bag. He was unsuccessful.

The man, identified as Officer Harris, who was off-duty at the time of the incident, sat in a seat just feet away from the Make-A-Wish family and the brown paper bag filled with the Wish shirts and the $1,500 credit card.

Minutes later the 34-year-old grabbed it and took off through the airport terminal.

"Our number one priority is the safety of our Wish families and our volunteers," Harbor said.

A member of the Make-A-Wish family jumped into action and stopped Officer Harris at the door, pinning him to a wall and taking the precious bag back.

"Not that we have determined, no," Nelson said when asked if there was a relationship between Harris and the Moore family or anyone involved.

According to witnesses and police, Officer Harris then took off running through the airport through Terminal C when a short time later Airport Police spotted him near Southwest Airlines ticket counter.

Just when you thought things couldn't get any crazier on the day that should have been nothing but peaceful and joy filled, Officer Harris allegedly came running back towards the Moore family, Preston and that precious brown bag.
 
Officer Harris then, according to Airport Police, grabbed the Make-A-Wish volunteer and wrapped his arms around her.

"We acted immediately to make sure that they were okay," Nelson said.

Airport Police then say a member of the Make-A-Wish family stepped in and that's when Officer Harris allegedly head-butted him.

If that's not enough, moments later Airport Police took Officer Harris down, cuffed him and put him in the back of a caged police car. But Officer Harris, apparently not wanting to give up, kicked the police car door open and started running again.
 
Memphis Police caught up with Officer Harris and recaptured him. He was charged with robbery, aggravated assault, escape from felony incarceration, resisting official detention and evading arrest.

Officer Harris' alleged exploits unfolded while the Make-A-Wish family was trying somehow, someway, tried to find some sort of peace before taking off on their journey that was made as a Wish.

"We again just greatly appreciate the support from the community and hope for the best possible outcome," Harbor said.

Officer Harris, who is behind held on $25,000 bond, was relieved of duty with pay pending the outcome of an administrative investigation.

Officer Harris has been employed with the Memphis Police Department since January 2002 and is assigned to Airways Station. He is expected to make his first appearance in Shelby County General Sessions Court on June 16.

Click here to leave a comment on our Facebook page
Click here to comment on our Twitter

Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices