Franklin officer back on streets after close call at mall - WSMV Channel 4

Franklin officer back on streets after close call at mall

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A Franklin police officer who was nearly run over by an accused shoplifter said he was terrified for his life.

Officer Jeff Carson was working undercover at CoolSprings Galleria on Saturday when he had a close call trying to apprehend a shoplifter.

Police say shoplifting isn't seasonal, but it happens all the time.

During the Christmas season, thieves feel they can blend in with honest people who are shopping at crowded area malls.

Sometimes the shoplifters are desperate enough to take a life while trying to get away.

Carson leads a double life, of sorts. When he's not fighting bad guys, he's singing country music.

But Saturday Carson was working undercover at the mall when security called for help in apprehending a shoplifter.

Carson was nearly run over by driver Dabney Frey.

"I see them. I follow them to the car," said Carson. "I identify myself as a police officer and asked them to step out of the car. She puts it in drive and starts driving at me."

Frey was later arrested by police. Instead of a shoplifting charge, she is now facing a charge of felony aggravated assault of a police officer.

Carson is one of many flex officers who are working the malls, sometimes in full uniform and sometimes undercover.

"In some instances you'll see us when we're there, in others you won't see us," said Franklin police Chief David Rahinsky.

Eyes are everywhere. Franklin police are looking for two women who walked away from the Walmart on Mallory Lane with shopping carts filled with unpaid merchandise.

"We started on Black Friday," said Franklin police Lt. Charles Warner, the agency's public information officer. "We've netted 44 arrests and $12,000 in merchandise."

Carson is glad he's OK. Today he was back at the police department attending meetings with other officers. He's also back at the mall ready to assist in catching more shoplifters after his close call.

"We see people hurt by motor vehicles, so it was scary," said Carson.

Frey is in jail on a $20,000 bond.

Frey spoke with Channel 4 News last month when she was featured in an I-Team investigation.

She was accused of stealing a van to sell it for scrap.

She spoke then with Channel 4 News and said she was innocent. She's due in court Friday on that charge.

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