Woman accused of stealing baby formula, biting security officer

MOUNT PLEASANT (WITI) -- 23-year-old Bernadette Ricks of Kenosha is accused of stealing baby formula from a Walmart store in Mount Pleasant -- and then biting a security guard who tried to restrain her.

Ricks faces charges of obstructing an officer, misdemeanor battery and misdemeanor retail theft.

According to the criminal complaint against Ricks, a Mount Pleasant police officer was called to the Walmart on Oakes Rd. on Friday, June 28th. A loss prevention officer indicated Ricks selected four bottles of baby formula, placed them in a cart, walked to another department in the store, and then concealed the bottles of formula inside her purse.

The complaint says when Ricks was leaving the store, she passed the last point of purchase -- and that's when the loss prevention officer got involved.

The complaint indicates a Walmart security guard who came to assist the loss prevention officer grabbed Ricks by the wrist. That's when Ricks "began to swing punches...with a closed fist" at the security guard. She also "grabbed his neck and while grabbing him she also bit him in his right shoulder blade area."

In the same scuffle, the complaint indicates Ricks hit the loss prevention officer with an open hand.

The criminal complaint says the security guard's injuries showed teeth marks could be visibly seen in his skin. He was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center for treatment.

The complaint also says Ricks was detained along with another woman. It says both were "uncooperative while in custody."

"It's not a huge dollar amount, but people get desperate and do desperate things in desperate times. A human bite can be dangerous. There's disease and everything else that goes with it. You always have that concern," Mount Pleasant Police Captain Brian Smith said.

If convicted, Ricks faces up to nine months in prison and $10,000 in fines. She is due back in court for a status conference on July 22nd.