JEFFERSON, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – An alert off-duty Marion County deputy helped bring a daylong crime spree to an end Wednesday in Jefferson with the arrest of a local man who fought the police chief and resisted arrest, according to police.

It all started with a call around 9:15 Wednesday morning of a theft from the EXXON Shop Max on N. Walcott St. Just over three hours later, officers were called to investigate a report of a man standing in the middle of the road wearing only shorts and yelling at people.

Deputies who responded to that call identified the man as 33-year-old James Earl Warren, Jr.

Around 8:20 p.m. the same day, another call came in from the Shop Max reporting a customer who came into the store, threw a cash register on the floor, and started smashing things. When deputies arrived, the suspect had already left.

Not long after the second Shop Max report, a security alarm was activated at a NAPA Auto Parts store on W. Broadway. Jefferson Police Chief Florentino Perez said in a press release that an officer arrived on the scene and found a man later identified as Warren walking around inside the store unarmed, “but apparently on an unknown substance.”

Chief Perez did not identify the officer in the statement, but the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post commending the deputy that helped capture Warren that the officer that tried to stop the suspect inside the auto parts store was Chief Florez himself.

Perez said the officer asked Warren to leave the store, but Warren refused. When the officer tried to detain him using a taser, Warren allegedly grew more agitated and began fighting the officer.

“After multiple attempts to subdue him failed, Warren fled on foot and was apprehended a short time later by responding officers just down the street on W. Broadway, in front of the Jefferson Primary School.

The sheriff’s office identified that officer as Deputy Mel Wolverton, who was at his second job but heard the calls on his MCSO radio. The deputy saw Warren coming down the road, got out of his vehicle, and demanded Warren get down on the ground.

Warren complied, and other deputies came on the scene and made the arrest.


Chief Perez suffered minor injuries in the scuffle with Warren but is expected to recover.