Woman pepper-sprayed; cop injured in scuffle

BYRAM TOWNSHIP, NJ (Sussex County) – A Byram Township police officer was injured Tuesday in a scuffle with a woman wanted for shoplifting who was later subdued with pepper spray.

Township police received a call about a wanted person who was inside the CVS on Route 206, police said.

The store manager stated that she recognized the individual, later identified as Liesel P. Chism, 29, of Orange, NJ, from a corporate bulletin about Chism previously shoplifting from other CVS stores, police said.

When the officer spoke to Chism and tried to detain her pending identification, she tried to walk away from the officer. She was then given verbal commands to stop and place her hands behind her back but she refused to listen. She then began to physically struggle with the officer and the officer eventually administered pepper spray in order to place her into custody, police said.

The officer received several hand lacerations and a leg injury during the struggle, police said.

Officers then made contact with an acquaintance of Chism’s who exited the store while the officer was trying to place her under arrest. While the officers were speaking to Kevin S. Conover, of Orange, NJ, they observed several bags of suspected heroin. Both stated that the heroin was not theirs, police said.

Chism was transported to the hospital for evaluation before being transported to the police station for processing.

Conover was charged with possession of heroin and released pending a court appearance.

Chism was charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and possession of heroin. She was lodged in the Keogh Dwyer Correctional Facility pending a detention hearing on these charges as well as outstanding warrants from several other jurisdictions.

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By: Jay Edwards
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