robert womble 122111Robert Womble Jr. at Red Bank borough hall in December, 2011, when he was honored for heroism. (Click to enlarge)

just_in1A Red Bank man who was lauded for heroism in a 2011 fire is in legal trouble again.

Robert Womble Jr., 53, of Evergreen Terrace, was arrested by Asbury Park police Saturday and charged with trying to steal a $40 item from a Rite Aid store in that city, according to a police report.

Police said Womble scratched the hands and arms of two employees who tried to stop him.

He also faces charges by Tinton Falls police for burglarizing a car parked on Pear Street and stealing a wallet containing $200 and credit cards on October. He’s alleged to have used one of the credit cards to make a $161 purchase at a local WaWa.

He’s being held on charges of robbery, burglary and credit card theft at the Monmouth County lockup in Freehold on $220,000 bail, according to the Asbury Park Press’ Data Universe.

Red Bank police arrested Womble earlier this year for two episodes of car break-ins. The disposition of those charges was not immediately available.

Womble, well known around town as a onetime high school sports figure, was lauded for his heroism, with another man, in trying to save 64-year-old Phyllis Rudrow during a fire at her home on Drs. James Parker Boulevard on September 18, 2011.

Womble and Kristopher Parker of Long Branch, then 31, pulled Rudrow to safety from the smoke-filled structure, but she died of her injuries four days later.

The two men were cited by Mayor Pasquale Menna and the borough council three months later for what Menna called “an extraordinary act of self-sacrifice” in pulling Rudrow to safety.