Armed robbery suspect subdued by veteran Wareham officer, Good Samaritan

Dec 18, 2018

A veteran officer with help from a Good Samaritan arrested a man wanted in connection with what appeared to be an armed robbery at Dollar General on Tuesday morning.

Police noted the store, along with Cumberland Farms on Depot Street, had both been robbed the night before. Police are currently investigating those incidents. Wareham police detectives said they believe this arrest is unrelated to the robberies on Monday night.

On Tuesday, however, officers charged James Demers, 46, of East Wareham with armed robbery and resisting arrest after he “violently” resisted Officer Stephen Joy’s attempt to place Demers in custody.

Acting Police Chief John Walcek said the incident ended peacefully thanks to the coordinated efforts of several officers and one man, Joseph Parent.

“From the moment the call was received with the immediate action of our communications officers, quickly obtaining and disseminating key information, Officer Steve Joy was able to make an arrest, without any injury within minutes,” said Walcek. “Joseph Parent saw Officer Joy struggling with a potentially armed man, and his willingness to provide aid to the officer greatly assisted in this apprehension.”

Joy has been a Wareham police officer for 25 years. 

Police said the incident began at 8:33 a.m. when police received a 911 call reporting an armed robbery at Dollar General, located at 3137 Cranberry Highway.

At that moment, responding Officer Stephen Joy watched the suspect cross the road from the Dollar General. Joy observed what was believed to be handgun in the suspect’s back pocket. Joy then ordered him to the ground at gunpoint, and when approaching, the suspect resisted, police said.

Joy began struggling with him when a bystander, Parent, came over and held the suspect’s legs, allowing Joy to handcuff Demers. Officer Christopher Smith then arrived to assist. After the suspect was subdued, the firearm, which turned out to be a pellet gun, was secured. A Dollar General bag with money in it was found in Demers’ front pocket, police said.