BUCKHANNON — A police chase that spanned two counties led to the arrest of a Lewis County man in downtown Weston Monday night.
Dustin Lee Watson, 23, of Roanoke, was sitting in a black and white jeep at River Place Apartments on the Vicksburg Road in Buckhannon. Deputy Tyler Gordon attempted to approach the jeep after being advised the license plate should have been on a stolen Ford Escape, according to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s office.
Watson fled, impacting the driver side of Cpl. Theron Caynor’s patrol vehicle. Gordon initiated a pursuit with the vehicle on Vicksburg Road and when the jeep reached Route 151, the jeep allegedly reached speeds of 80 mph in a 35 mph zone.
After the jeep turned onto Route 33 westbound, UCSD Cpl. Dewaine Linger attempted to disable the jeep using stop sticks but was nearly struck by
by Watson in the jeep after the jeep attempted to miss the stop stick. The vehicle continued to flee in a reckless manner turning onto Route 20 and heading to the Main Street intersection where it turned onto West Main Street and onto the Old Weston Road into Lewis County.
During the pursuit, the jeep allegedly ran several vehicles off the road and failed to yield to several stop signs in both Upshur and Lewis counties, according to the criminal complaint. It was later discovered Watson’s driver’s license had been revoked for DUI with a prior conviction of driving while revoked for DUI in 2013 in Upshur County.
Watson was arrested for fleeing from an officer with reckless disregard for the safety of others, a felony, and driving while license revoked for DUI second offense, a misdemeanor.
Magistrate Mike Coffman set bond at $100,000 surety.
If convicted, Watson faces confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than five years and fined $1,000 to $2,000 for the felony and confinement in jail for not less than six months no more than one year and fined $1,000 to $3,000 for the misdemeanor.
Watson is also facing charges in Lewis County although that information was not available at the Lewis County Magistrate Clerk’s office by the press deadline Tuesday afternoon.
In a separate case, Vincent Gregory Baisi, 23, of Charleston, was arrested for two counts of being a person prohibited from carrying a concealed firearm, a felony, and driving while license revoked for DUI second offense, a misdemeanor.
On Sept. 30, Deputy Tyler Gordon with the Upshur County Sheriff's Department observed a silver Toyota Rav4 traveling south on Route 20 with a defective license plate. Gordon also noticed the 2018 sticker was not new. Having stopped the vehicle the previous week, Gordon knew the registration was expired in September.
After initiating a traffic stop, Gordon identified Baisi as the driver. Baisi did not have an ID but a records check through the Upshur County 911 Center revealed that Baisi's driving privilege had been revoked for DUI and he had a previous conviction for driving while license revoked for DUI in 2014 in Barbour County. During a pat-down search of Baisi, Gordon found a .22 magnum revolver in the front left pocket of Baisi. A loaded raven .25 caliber handgun was located on the driver side floorboard of the vehicle.
Magistrate Kay Hurst set bond at $25,000 cash on each count of being a person prohibited from a concealed firearm and $5,000 cash or surety for driving while license revoked for DUI second offense.
Being a prohibited person with concealed firearm carries a possible sentence of one to three years in a state correctional facility or fined not more than $5,000. Driving with a license revoked for DUI second offense carries six months to a year in jail and a $1,000 to $3,000 fine.