Woman thrown to ground in robbery attempt, police say

Last updated: October 6, 2016 - 3:24pm

James Michael Clarke

BLOOMSBURG — A man put a woman in a choke hold and slammed her to the sidewalk as he searched her for money, police say. And it all allegedly happened at the woman’s sister’s request.

Now James Michael Clarke is behind bars, charged with robbery, and police are searching for Brittany Conklin.

Trouble started Sunday evening, when Conklin and her sister, Destiny Conklin, got into an argument at the Unity gas station, near Autozone on Old Berwick Road, police say.

Here’s how Destiny Conklin recounted events to police, according to arrest papers:

Brittany demanded money from Destiny, and threatened to beat her if she didn’t hand it over. At the time, Destiny told her she had no money and walked away. A friend gave Destiny a car ride to the corner of West Main and West streets, near where she lives.

That’s when Destiny saw her sister, Clarke and two other friends get out of a car across West Main Street. They had followed her. It was now about 9:30 p.m.

‘Do it’
Destiny told police that she began to walk to her home on the 200 block of West Street when she heard her sister Brittany say “Do it,” just as Brittany grabbed her left arm. From behind, Clarke grabbed her and put her in a chokehold. He dropped her to the ground, and her face hit the sidewalk. Then Destiny said Clarke smacked her a few times, searching the pockets of her shorts and her bra.

She thought he was looking for money because that’s where she usually keeps it.

Destiny told police she tried to scream for help from a nearby roommate, who was outside, but Clarke covered her mouth.

She bit his middle finger, which caused him to let her go. Brittany Conklin and Clarke then ran.

Destiny Conklin was left with scrapes to her knee and face, police report.


Clarke in jail, looking for Conklin
Police caught up with Clarke Wednesday. They brought him to on-call District Judge Douglas Brewer who sent Clarke to jail because he couldn’t post $25,000 bail. A preliminary hearing on robbery, assault and harassment charges is set for Oct. 12. 

Ptlm. Quentin Reinford said Bloomsburg Police are still looking for Brittany Conklin. If anyone has information, police ask that they call 570-784-4115, ext. 172. The town police can also be reached through Columbia County Communications, 570-784-6300.

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