Police chase ends in 2 arrested
by Martha Sparks
CHAPMANVILLE — A Big Creek man was arrested following a vehicular chase on Rt. 10 by the Chapmanville Police Department on September 21.
Clifton Miller Belcher, 40, was charged with fleeing vehicle while DUI, no insurance, reckless driving, no insurance, DUI, obstructing, emergency vehicle failure to yield and fleeing vehicle by CPD Cpl. Lee Preece Jr.
According to the complaint, Cpl. Preece was on routine patrol in the town of Chapmanville when he observed a black Pontiac Grand Prix enter Rt. 10 North from Commerce Park Circle. Preece alleges that the vehicle was being driven in an aggressive manner and accelerated quickly. Preece initiated his emergency lights, but the vehicle failed to stop.
Soon after turning on his emergency lights, Preece heard the vehicle exhaust become louder and observed the vehicle accelerating even quicker.
Preece states that he “pursued the vehicle North on Rt. 10 and while the vehicle was still visible, initiated his cruiser sirens. The vehicle failed to slow down or stop.”
Preece notified 9-1-1 of the situation and the Logan County Sheriff’s Department and the West Virginia State Police responded to assist.
Preece lost sight of the vehicle but continued to Harts before coming back South on Rt. 10 to Chapmanville. Preece met with members of the other law departments at Limestone Branch. The WVSP advised Preece that the vehicle he was looking for could be a “ways South of Limestone”.
Officers arrived at that location and found the car in the woods parked near Ridge View Dr. Officers went to the nearest residence and found Bryant, along with three other people. All four subjects were interviewed and “denied knowledge of the car, knowing who owned the car or knowing who had been in the car.”
Preece noticed a set of keys on a TV and a single key to a General Motors vehicle. Bryant reportedly acknowledged ownership of the set of keys, but not the single key. Preece reports that Bryant acknowledged ownership of the single key after Preece confronted him with the idea of attempting to start the Grand Prix with the key.
Bryant then allegedly admitted to being the driver of the vehicle and running from the police. Preece said the key did start the Grand Prix.
Preece reported that he smelled what he believed to be alcohol on the breath of Bryant and, after transporting Bryant to WVSP headquarters on Old Logan Road, the breath test was administered. Bryant passed two parts of the test but failed the horizontal gaze test. A secondary breath test resulted in a reading of 0.08.
Bryant was released from the Southwester Regional Jail on a $3,500 bond.
During the investigation of the Bryant case, one of the three other subjects in the residence was also arrested. Susie Lynn Whitt, 25, of Chapmanville, was arrested and charged with obstructing. According to the complaint filed by LCSD Deputies J.N. Sheppard and J.M. Miller, Whitt “was acting aggressive during the fact finding investigation” to the deputies. After several verbal commands to calm down, Whitt was placed in handcuffs and under arrest. When attempting to put Whitt in the cruiser, “she began to act in an aggressive manner, kicking the cruiser door and refusing to get in.” Deputies reportedly used a one second “Vexor” (pepper spray) on Whitt and immediately she was able to be secured.
Whitt is being held in the Southwestern Regional Jail on a $2,500 bail.
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