Rodrick Tippett got off relatively easy for the pair of burglaries he committed in 2009. After six months behind bars, the judge changed what had been a six-year penitentiary sentence to six years of probation. The fact that one of his victims had been his sister does not appear to have influenced the judge's decision.
According to prosecutors, Tippett violated his probation two months later by having sex with a prostitute, then again in January 2011 when he twice assaulted his girlfriend, though records indicate he didn't see the inside of a jail cell again until 2012, when he was arrested on charges of theft and burglary. Somehow, his sentence this time was even lighter than before, just five years' probation, the terms of which he violated four months later by failing to show up at a substance abuse treatment center.
All of this goes to explain why Tippett might not have been happy to see flashing lights in his rearview mirror as he drove through South Dallas just before 10 p.m. Monday. Rather than face the cops, who would figure out pretty quickly that he had a warrant out, police say he bailed, abandoning his car and cutting through the neighborhood on foot.
The officers ran after Tippett but quickly lost him, unaware that he had slipped into a backyard on Peabody Avenue. Tippett, for his part, wasn't going to sit idly by in hope that his pursuers would lose interest, so police say he created a diversion.
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Tippett, perhaps not realizing that DPD is capable of responding to multiple crimes at once, called 911 on his cell phone and told the dispatcher he was being robbed by a man who had a gun to his head. The location? The intersection of Metropolitan Avenue and SM Wright Freeway, a half mile to the southeast.
DPD dispatched three squad cars and its helicopter to look for the supposed gunman but found no one. Police did, however, locate Tippett, whose cell phone matched the one that had just phoned in the robbery call.
Tippett was arrested and booked into Lew Sterrett for evading arrest, failure to identify as a fugitive, and, yes, making a false 911 call.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.