McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Police/Courts

February 26, 2014

McAlester residents arrested in Muskogee

McALESTER — Two McAlester residents were arrested after leading police on a pursuit with a 5-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl in the car, police said.

Mark Schoggins, 30, was arrested on complaints of receiving stolen property, resisting arrest, public intoxication, possession of drug paraphernalia and child endangerment.

Tiffany Damota, 24, was arrested on complaints of eluding a police officer, child endangerment, receiving stolen property, possession of drug paraphernalia and transporting an open container.

On Tuesday afternoon, Schoggins was being held in the Muskogee County/City Detention Center on $15,000 bond, and Damota was being held on $25,000 bond, a jail employee said.

Police got a call just before 6 p.m. Monday that two people in a vehicle at the drive-through at BancFirst at 3601 W. Okmulgee Ave. were trying to cash a check believed to be fraudulent, said Cpl. Michael Mahan.

As an officer approached the vehicle at the bank, Damota, who was the driver, drove off, Mahan said.

Police reports state that the vehicle left the bank south on 36th Street, and the chase continued east on Denver to 32nd Street and south to Border Street. During the chase, the vehicle ran a stop sign and a red light.

When the vehicle was near 32nd and Border, Damota tried to turn to the east and failed to negotiate the turn. The vehicle stopped in the northbound lanes of U.S. 69, Mahan said.

Schoggins got out of the vehicle and fled to a nearby trailer park. Officer Don Johnson chased Schoggins, who eventually lay down on the ground and was taken into custody, Mahan said.

The two children in the back seat of the vehicle  were released to the custody of their grandparents, Mahan said.

Schoggins left his identification and the check at the bank, Mahan said. The check was written for $6,750 and was reported stolen from McAlester Auto Auction, police said.

 Mahan said Schoggins is believed to be the son of the owner of the auto auction, and has been allegedly writing checks on the account without permission.

“A detective from McAlester said there was in excess of $10,000 of fraudulent charges on that account,” Mahan said. Several checks — some of which were blank — were found in the vehicle, Mahan said.

Substances believed to be marijuana and an open bottle of vodka were found in the vehicle. Hypodermic needles were found on Schoggins, Mahan said.

Reach Anita Reding at areding@muskogeephoenix.com.

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