Shoplifting Damage Includes Medical Bills

   A man arrested on an assault charge by the Sheriff’s Office late yesterday morning is also facing charges related to an alleged chemical spill inside a Laurens store last fall.

   58-year-old Dennis Lamar Kernells of 300 Marion Place, Clinton was issued a ticket charging Simple Assault and Battery at 11:45 yesterday morning by Sheriff’s Corporal Johnson. Meanwhile, Laurens City Police have served warrants from November charging him with Malicious Damage and Shoplifting.

  Laurens Police Detective Jared Hunniutt states that on November 15, 2013 Dennis Lamar Kernells committed malicious damage greater than $2,000 by creating a health hazard after mixing chemicals while attempting to shoplift said chemicals inside Wal-Mart, and that he created a chemical spill which damaged shelves and flooring, contaminated surrounding items for sale and caused clean-up costs that included man hours, waste disposal fee, medical bills and workers compensation for one employee who was injured by a chemical burn while assisting in the clean-up. Costs of the damages from the chemical spill were estimated at between $3,500 and $4,000. Detective Hunnicutt alleges that Kernells shoplifted by opening several bottles of different products such as a drain opener and a degreaser, mixed the contents into another bottle and took this mixture out of the store without paying for several of the items that were opened and moved from their original location. Items were allegedly hidden behind other items so as to conceal them, during the incident November 15th 2013 at Wal-Mart, 922 East Main in Laurens. Kernells was being held overnight in the Johnson Detention Center, pending a bond hearing.