Local businessman comes to aid of police officer

Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin is publicly thanking a local businessman who rushed to the aid of a police officer as he attempted to arrest a man who was kicking and striking him.

McLaughlin said James R. Robinson, who owns Ocean View Produce on Route 26, assisted Sgt. Sidney Ballentine as he arrested 34-year-old Christopher A. Thompson in the parking lot of Charlie K’s BBQ around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15.

The incident occurred after state troopers were dispatched to Fox’s Pizza at 200 Atlantic Avenue in Millville for a report of a bicycle theft in progress, according to the Delaware State Police.

After receiving a description of the suspect and bicycle from state police, Ballentine spotted the man on Atlantic Avenue and advised him to wait for the arrival of the trooper, but Thompson began to walk away, police said. The scuffle allegedly began when Ballentine tried to arrest Thompson.

“I wish to publicly thank Mr. Robinson for his assistance during this situation. The fact that he chose to take action and potentially put his own safety at risk to help Sgt. Ballentine speaks volumes of his character. I have personally spoken to Mr. Robinson and thanked him for his assistance,” McLaughlin said.

Ballentine, McLaughlin said, “received a few cuts and scrapes during the arrest but was otherwise unharmed.”

McLaughlin said the bicycle was allegedly stolen in Millville, but was recovered and returned to its owner, “thanks to the quick response by Sgt. Ballentine.”

Thompson, 34, was taken to the state police barrack in Georgetown, where he was found to allegedly be under the influence of alcohol, state police said. He was charged with second-degree assault and injuring a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with force or violence, theft, disorderly conduct and operating a bicycle on a highway while driving under the influence, police said. He was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $8,501 cash-only bond.

By Susan Canfora
Staff Reporter