Lawrence crime, fire, courts coverage
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A 37-year-old Topeka man has been found guilty of burglary and battery in connection with an April break-in at a Lawrence cellphone retailer.
Isaac T. Clark pleaded guilty today in Douglas County District Court to burglary, felony theft and battery of a law enforcement officer, a misdemeanor. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors dropped charges of criminal damage, obstruction and possession of a controlled substance that had been filed against Clark in April, after his arrest.
The battery charge was related to a scuffle with police officers as Clark was arrested in a parking lot near the T-Mobile store, at 1700 W. 23rd St. just before midnight on April 2. Lawrence police had responded to a burglary alarm at the T-Mobile store and saw a person exit a broken window and run east, throwing several cellphones aside as he fled.
Officers caught up with Clark in a nearby parking lot and used pepper spray and a Taser to arrest him. Clark was on probation after being convicted of burglary in Shawnee and Johnson counties. In court, he admitted that he had entered the store by breaking open the front door, which caused the alarm to sound.
A police officer was treated at Lawrence Memorial Hospital after being kicked in the knee while arresting Clark. He was the third Lawrence police officer injured on the job that week, said Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence Police Department spokesman. The officer continued working but required follow-up treatment for the knee injury, McKinley said.
Clark could face up to 34 months in prison for the burglary conviction, depending on his criminal history, in addition to any penalties due to his probation status. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 30.