Man arrested after allegedly pouring chemical on Palestine shopper

Willie James Lewis
Willie James Lewis((Source: Palestine Police Department))
Updated: Aug. 3, 2020 at 2:41 PM CDT
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PALESTINE, Texas (KLTV) - An Oakwood man has been arrested, accused of assaulting a woman shopping at the Palestine Wal-Mart by pouring a chemical on her. He then allegedly attacked a police officer with a shopping cart.

According to Palestine police, at approximately 7:17 p.m. Saturday, officers responded to a call of an assault at the Wal-Mart located at 2223 S. Loop 256 in Palestine. Police said officers arrived and the victim reported that an unknown black male poured a chemical, believed to be a cleaning solution, on her upper body and face while she shopped in the store. The victim, a 49 year-old Palestine resident, was accompanied by two small children during the incident. The victim did not know the suspect, who fled the scene following the assault.

Police said the woman was transported to the Palestine Regional ER by ambulance for medical treatment.

Police said while the officers were investigating the incident, the suspect, later identified as Willie James Lewis, 37 of Oakwood, returned to the scene. Lewis then followed an officer to the front of the store and attacked the officer from behind using a shopping cart. Officers were able to take Lewis into custody following a struggle. The officer was treated and released at the scene.

Police said prior to assaulting the officer, Lewis had also damaged a patrol vehicle that was parked outside of the store.

Lewis was transported to the Anderson County Jail and booked without further incident. Police said Lewis is facing charges of Assault on a Public Servant, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Endangering a Child, Criminal Mischief >$2,500<$30,000, as well as two Palestine municipal court warrants.

Lewis is currently being held in the Anderson County Jail with bonds totaling $165,000. Police said the motives behind the attack are still under investigation.

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