Robbery suspect nabbed after chase
Ohio man accused of taking drugs from Walgreens

COVINGTON - A gunman robbed the new Walgreens drug store at the intersection of Brown Bridge and Salem roads Monday afternoon, according to the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

NCSO spokesman Lt. Mark Mitchell said the man came into the store around 1:50 p.m. and demanded prescription drugs and took off running behind the store, which is located at 12955 Brown Bridge Road.

"Newton County Sheriff's Deputy Cpl. Justin Hipps arrived on the scene and was advised by a witness that the armed robbery suspect had just run behind the Walgreens store toward Brown Bridge Road," Mitchell said in a printed press release. "The alert deputy observed the suspect running across Brown Bridge Road into a Goodyear Tire Center parking lot and caught him after a brief foot chase."

Arrested was Benjamin Olin Williams Jr., 18, of 5488 Satinwood Drive, Columbus, Ohio, who was charged with armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

"(I am) grateful to the citizens that assisted us in locating the perpetrator and (am) thankful the armed robbery suspect was taken into the custody without sheriff's deputies or citizens being harmed," said Sheriff Ezell Brown, according to the release.

Mitchell said both "the merchandise" taken during the robbery and the weapon used were recovered.

In other public safety news, Hughie Shane Simmons, 34, was killed in the early morning hours Sunday after the motorcycle he was driving hit a culvert in a ditch on Rocky Point Road, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

Trooper B. Marks said the crash occurred around 3:15 a.m. and Simmons was pronounced dead at the scene.

"He was negotiating a curve and speed was probably a factor," Marks said, adding that the crash occurred near the victim's home.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com