Police respond to potential theft; man faces several charges

A Detroit man faces charges after he was accused of fleeing from police, and found to be in possession of a controlled substance and a handgun carried illegally.

According to a criminal complaint, Franklin state police responded to reports of a potential retail theft at about 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the Dollar General on Allegheny Boulevard in Sugarcreek.

Mario Whitehead, 20, was identified by two witnesses as the suspect, according to the complaint. Whitehead told police that he didn’t steal anything.

When police asked him to stand in front of a police car, he turned, dropped his coat and fled, the complaint said.

While chasing Whitehead, the complaint said, police tased him twice but he kept running.

While Whitehead ran, the complaint said, he threw a plastic bag containing over 40 grams of a white powdery substance onto the ground. The complaint noted the white substance is to be sent to a lab for testing.

Whitehead fell and was arrested, the complaint said.

Police found a loaded 9mm Smith and Weston pistol in Whitehead’s jacket, the complaint said.

Police also found a switchblade knife and drug paraphernalia in a bookbag belonging to Whitehead, the complaint said.

Whitehead has been charged with felony counts of possession of a controlled substance; manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; possession of a firearm prohibited; flight to avoid apprehension/trial/punishment; and firearms not to be carried without a license; as well as use/possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of instrument of crime with intent; make repairs/sell/etc., offensive weapon; and resist arrest/other law enforcement.

He was arraigned Monday before District Judge Patrick Lowrey and placed in Venango County jail with bail denied due to him being a flight risk, the complaint said.

Whitehead’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m. Nov. 4 before Lowrey.