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Police: Escapee shot at by JP deputy at hospital linked to 2 armed robberies

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Domonique Battle, 26, accused of aggravated escape Domonique Battle, 26, accused of aggravated escape
JPSO Deputy Staci Penwright JPSO Deputy Staci Penwright

A man accused of running from a JPSO deputy on Sunday while undergoing treatment at University Medical Center is also accused of robbing a convenience store in Belle Chasse last Wednesday and one in Algiers on March 13.

Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Investigators said Domonique Battle, 26, pulled a gun on a clerk and then threatened to shoot if they called the police. Surveillance video from the robbery was released, which led to a Crimestoppers tip that ultimately helped investigators develop Battle as their suspect.

But Battle was already in custody in Jefferson Parish after he was picked up on theft charges.

While in booking, Battle appeared to be hiding something and during a search police found heroin and crack cocaine concealed between his buttocks, according to investigators. Deputies booked Battle with additional drug charges.

That evening, Battle told deputies he swallowed heroin and needed to go to the hospital. He was brought to UMC for treatment, where he stayed until Sunday morning, when he somehow got out of his room.

JPSO Deputy Staci Penwright was able to catch up to Battle in a stairwell, where the two got into a struggle.

According to court documents, Battle tried to grab Penwright’s gun and eventually got his hands on her taser. Police say Penwright fired one shot in the stairwell of the hospital but missed Battle before he got away again.

Penwright chased Battle out of the hospital, where she fired additional shots but missed, according to police.

NOPD officers found Battle a short distance away trying to get into a car, but he was stopped and arrested him. Police found Deputy Penwright’s taser nearby, unused.

"We're investigating the discharge of the firearm, because it happened inside the city of New Orleans. Our force investigation team came out, was dispatched, I came out yesterday, we're investigating that, but there are no updates because the prisoner is back in custody with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Department," NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison said.

After Battle was arrested and transferred back to JPSO custody, Plaquemines investigators executed a search warrant, obtaining the clothing Battle was wearing during his Thursday arrest - the same clothing they say he was wearing in the surveillance video of Wednesday’s robbery.

Plaquemines investigators said Battle faces 15 years for armed robbery. A judge set his bond at $40,000 for aggravated escape and battery of an officer.

Deputy Penwright has been with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office since 2008 assigned to the correctional center.

In the Algiers incident, police said Battle held up a Discount Zone gas station at about 7 p.m. in the 4600 block of General Degaulle Drive. They said Battle entered into the gas station pretending he was customer. A short time later, he went to the register and lifted his shirt, revealing a firearm, and demanded cash from the cashier. After the cashier complied, Battle fled on foot, entered a car and drove off in an unknown direction.

Anyone with additional information in this case is asked to call the Fourth District Detective Unit at 504-658-6040.

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