Off-duty officer pepper sprayed during Craigslist sale of iPhone

FORT MILL, SC (WBTV) - An off duty Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer was pepper-sprayed by a man while trying to sell his cell phone early Thursday morning.

The incident happened in the parking lot of the Circle K at 252 Carowinds Boulevard around 1:15 a.m. Thursday, according to the report from the York County Sheriff's Office.

It's something police officers warn people to be very careful about, selling something to a person you just met online.

Authorities said the officer went to meet a man to sell his iPhone 4 after he put it up on Craigslist for sale.

The meeting was set for 1 a.m. Thursday morning at the Wendy's restaurant on Carowinds Boulevard right next to the amusement park.

Police said the officer met with two men who said they wanted to buy the phone.

As one of the men held the phone to test it out, he pepper sprayed the officer and took off running toward his car.

The officer, unphased by the pepper spray, chased the suspect to a silver Ford Crown Victoria, where the man slammed the officer's leg in the car door before taking off with the iPhone.

CMPD Officer Arthur Sommerville, 30, suffered a 3-inch laceration to his leg from being slammed in the car door.

Sommerville gave detailed descriptions to sheriff's deputies and the phone number used to contact the suspect.

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