Shoplifting suspect injured as officer’s vehicle hits him

Published 3:39 pm Saturday, June 25, 2022

SALISBURY — A shoplifting suspect was injured Saturday during a pursuit involving Salisbury Police Department officers in the 300 block of Arlington Street.

Officers were called to Walmart after a report of shoplifting. Two officers responded and the suspect left the scene on a bicycle. One officer pursued on foot, while Officer C.L. Debonis followed in a vehicle. As the chase traveled into a grassy field near Walmart, the vehicle driven by Officer Debonis hit a small embankment and lost traction, striking the suspect who had left on a bicycle. He was later identified as Joshua Goodman, 45.

Goodman was taken to Novant Health Rowan Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Debonis was taken for a drug and alcohol screening as is standard practice when an officer is involved in an incident. The State Highway Patrol is investigating and Salisbury Police will complete an internal review to ensure no policy violations occurred.

“Our prayers are certainly with Mr. Goodman today after this morning’s incident,” said Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes in a news release, adding “and wish him a swift recovery. We also uplift Officer Debonis as she is evaluated at our local hospital. While State Highway Patrol thoroughly investigates this situation, we too will make sure that our proper procedures were applied during the chase by both officers.”

In-car video was inactive, though both officers had on body cameras that were active.

Debonis has been employed by SPD since 2018.