BUCKHANNON — An Upshur County sheriff’s deputy was tased and sustained several injuries after wrestling with a suspect on Tuesday.
The incident started when deputy Tyler Gordon observed a yellow and white ATV traveling from Route 151 onto the Heavener Grove Road in Buckhannon, according to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s office.
As Gordon was turning around, the ATV accelerated above 45 mph onto the Phillips Dairy Road. By the time Gordon caught up to the ATV, the chase reached 50 mph and the ATV was weaving all over the roadway from one side to the opposite lane, according to the complaint.
Gordon activated his emergency blue lights, but the defendant, later identified as Michael James Gregory, 53, did not stop. The officer then activated his sirens and the pursuit reached Countryside Drive, a small paved private drive.
Gordon slowed down but the ATV did not, leaving the paved roadway to the right and swerving in front of the officer’s vehicle, causing a collision, the file states.
Gordon ordered Gregory to get off the ATV and place his hands behind his back, but Gregory allegedly refused, saying he did nothing wrong and was just going to work.
Gordon gained control of one arm with a handcuff but couldn’t gain control of the second and was struck in the face by Gregory, according to the complaint.
The officer wrestled Gregory to the ground, where the fight continued.
Gregory escaped Gordon’s grasp, but the officer regained contact and the two rolled down a steep embankment.
According to the file, Gordon deployed the second taser category, again with no effect, and the suspect then grabbed the charged taser, affecting Gordon, and discarded the weapon.
With the taser out of reach, the two continued to fight on the ground, and Gregory grabbed for Gordon’s baton and duty weapon, according to the complaint. However, Gordon moved so that Gregory could not get the firearm.
That allowed Gregory to escape again, but he was found hiding in a briar patch nearby.
Gregory allegedly admitted to frequent methamphetamine use and possessed a marijuana smoking device at the time of his arrest, according to the criminal complaint.
Gordon sustained several injuries, including lacerations to his cheek, abrasions to his left elbow and pain in his right shoulder, left ankle and above his left eye.
Sheriff David Coffman said Thursday Gordon “is sore but overall he is OK.”
Gordon had requested assistance and Sgt. Marshall Powers was on his way to help him, but Coffman said the situation unfolded quickly.
The sheriff said manpower is always a concern when deputies cover a large county.
“I’m concerned about the safety of my guys out there by themselves,” he said. “I hope in the future the county can find money to enhance law enforcement so we can have two people available and hopefully two people together on patrol.”
Gordon arrested Gregory for
Magistrate Kay Hurst set bond at $100,000.
If convicted, Gregory faces imprisonment in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than five years for attempt to disarm a police officer; a fine of between $1,000 and $2,000 and imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than five years for fleeing from an officer in a vehicle with reckless disregard; imprisonment in a state correctional facility for not less than three nor more than 10 years for fleeing while DUI; confinement for not more than five years for escape from custody; and confinement in a correctional facility for not less than two nor more than five years for unlawful assault.