Disabled vet accused of attacking officers during food theft arrest

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A disabled veteran is behind bars, accused of attacking officers after he was caught stealing food.

Kenny Peacock’s mug shot shows many bruises on his face. Police say he was involved in several different scuffles that sent him to the hospital before being booked into jail.

According to a police report, Saturday morning, a security guard at the Walgreens off Poplar and Cleveland spotted the disabled veteran trying to swipe a couple of hot pockets worth not even six bucks.

The guard took Peacock to the store`s office to wait on Police. Police say Peacock became so violent, the guard and another store worker pepper sprayed him to try to get the disabled man under control.

“Mr. Peacock, he has no legs. He`s in a wheelchair,” said Roderick Baldwin, Peacock’s housing manager.

According to police, the pepper spray didn`t stop Peacock from throwing bottles of beer he had stashed in his wheelchair, at the employees.

“That`s just crazy,” said Walgreens shopper, Joe Austin.

Police say one of those thrown bottles of beer smashed a window. The glass cut two arresting officers.

“He came past us in the wheelchair. Yes I did see that man,” exclaimed Ronal Kent who lives nearby.

Kent didn`t see the alleged scuffle but says he saw Peacock minutes before. Kent says this happened at the same time a church group was giving away free food right across the street.

“I think it’s sad because he was stealing food and they give out food right down the street on Saturday mornings,” said Tonyia Mason who lives nearby.

Peacock isn`t homeless. WREG tracked him down to an independent living center on Bellevue. It’s ran by the non-profit, Door of Hope. The organization takes in people who are mentally ill or disabled and have been homeless for more than a year.

Despite his recent arrest, Door of Hope`s manager says Peacock will still have a place to live when he gets out of jail.

“Individuals need help,” said Baldwin.

Police say Peacock also assaulted a worker trying to take him into custody at the jail. He’s accused of hitting that officer and grabbing his gun belt. According to the report, the two wrestled on the floor during the scuffle.


  • j

    this is horrible. the article says he is a VET? when this man went to serve the USA, he may not have had an education/ may not have had the opportunity to get one But He went to fight for the USA!!!!!!!!! In a wheel chair, no leg an trying to get something to eat? if this man would have been black than all hell would break lose/naacp/washington dc/ god etc etc etc. another sign about how VETS are being treated in this country. Your gov officials want men/women to fight at their command, but do not want to take care of the people that come back. We are on the brink of disaster, humanity gone wrong!

    • RespectOurVets

      Race has nothing to do with it. However, I do think it is deplorable how VETS are treated after they return from fighting for our freedom. We should be honoring them and ensuring that they get the best possible care for their needs. Instead, we ignore them and downgrade their priceless contributions toward our freedom. As a result, VETS like the one mentioned above are reduced to stealing food. Sad!

  • CheshireCat

    Why didn’t the guard just buy this man some food? He was starving, can’t spare a ten to feed someone. Memphis mentality is a pathetic joke. This guard and these cops were in the wrong. Instead of threatening a starving man with arrest (of course he’s going to flip out), they should have bought him some food! I hate this city and county!

  • Redblur63

    There were many ways to handle this situation. Yes, our veterans deserve to be treated with the respect due any human and especially to someone who has served his or her country. It sounds as if the security guard could use some training in alternative methods in dealing with situations where the person may be living with a mental illness, PTSD, addiction, or other issue. It sounds like Mr. Peacock may have a multitude of issues that may have factored into the situation. At the same time, the guard and the police officers also have the right to defend themselves from someone who is throwing beer bottles and such. There are breakdowns all over the place — a sick and disabled veteran so desperately in need of food that he resorts to stealing, and then fights against the security guard and arresting officers — there were so many opportunities to secure a different outcome. I hope that Mr. Peacock can get the resources he needs so he can live out his days in peace without having to steal and risk arrest in the future. Thank God for Door of Hope, Manna House, and Room in the Inn, and all of the other groups in Memphis who actively reach out to assist and welcome these people who live on the edge of our society. They are doing God’s work. Matthew 25:35-40

  • John T. Dwyer

    According to my information, which WREG can use also, Mr. Peacock was born in 1966. Thus, if he were a Vietnam Veteran he served very well, at the age of 7. If he was a Gulf War veteran he was 34 as of 2000 which would probably make him too old for service. If he just returned home from Iraq, he would be 47, thus he must have served many tours!! People holler “VET” and the first thing you know it is the policeman’s fault for bothering these people.
    When I used to have to take somebody like this in custody, after they had torn some joint up, groped a woman, peed in the middle of Madison and Cleveland, or sailed a beer bottle through a business window, the first thing they would scream is….”I am a vietnam vet, I go crazy sometimes!” But when I would ask what their MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) was, they all the sudden get amnesia or say they didn’t write it down or simply DUHHH!

    In all candor, this man has many, many arrests stemming from drunkeness and dastardly conduct. Car burglary, armed robbery, assault, aggravated assault, malicious mischief, pandering, indecent exposure, urinating in public. So I would say this isn’t his first rodeo to 201, Detox Center, or the nuthouse. He might even be qualified to do the “Wild Bill” Anderson Division 7 create a job Vet Court…..if he is a vet!
    I mean a real vet who, has endured injuries, has been in a combat zone, and even PTSD. Not just some battle with “Swiss Up Forces”, or being a member of the “Mad-Dog 20-20” procurement team, or the “T-Bird High Fliers Downing Team”.

    When I would get asked why I was bothering somebody like this after receiving a call, I would ask if the complainer wanted to take them home, give them shelter, or a place to sleep and bathe, the answer was always the same……….they disappeared!

  • Redblur63

    Mr. Dwyer, Mr. Peabody’s age is compatible with the age of veterans from the 1st Gulf War (1990-1992). I have family members who are a year younger and a year older, and both served during that time. Additionally, I know of Army Reserve members in their 50s who were called up at the outbreak of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (the correct names of the recent Iraqi war and the Afghanistan war). And yes, there are some people who might falsely claim to be veterans, but in this day and age, I’d err on the side of caution. And none of us, unless we were over there with them, have any idea of the horrors they may have experienced, and which likely have a direct bearing on why they are in such dire straits now. War is hell, but the aftermath for those who fight is often worse. Thank you for your service.

    • John T. Dwyer

      Unfortunately, during the time period 1990-1992 you described, he was being arrested for “escaping from the county workhouse” and then arrested for possession of drug paraphenalia. So again, I doubt this was a Vet. A DD-214 says a lot, in a short amount of time.
      I believe this was a case of an inebriated person/shoplifter/drunk going off on store people, security and police. Unfortunate, but it is what it is.

  • Julius Jones

    MPD handles another case well. This is almost as sorry as when a couple members of the MPD Goon Squad killed Donald Moore in the bedroom of his Cordova home about a year and a half back. Too many cowboys in that outfit, as well as too little management & discipline.

  • roderick baldwin

    i just wanted to get the record clear, that mr. peacock has income and if he needed ant thing we do help with any needs if there is any. roderick

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