BUCKHANNON – An Upshur County man was arrested this past Thursday after allegedly fleeing from law enforcement officers, throwing rocks and then threatening the officers and their families.
Caleb Gregory, 27, of Buckhannon, was arrested for retaliation against a public official, escape of a person in the custody of officers, and fleeing with reckless indifference, all felonies.
According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by Patrolman James Fisher with the Buckhannon Police Department, on Thursday, Sept. 6, at approximately 2:10 a.m., Upshur County Sheriff’s Deputy Cole Bender reportedly received a call about an intoxicated man looking for a female and allegedly threatening to kill someone “while beating on his windows and doors.” The caller said he heard the subject locate the female and “cuss her out” and told officers they also saw someone driving a white-colored vehicle head toward the four-lane. The caller also said he believed the driver of a white pick-up truck was chasing someone.
Soon after, Bender made a traffic stop on the white pick-up truck, and the driver told police that he was following his brother, Caleb Gregory, because Gregory had reportedly “[taken] off” in a white Jeep after threatening to kill himself, the police report says. Bender advised city police officers Fisher and Sgt. Darin Hissam to be on the lookout for the white Jeep – the one Gregory was reportedly driving.
Hissam remained at the Brushy Fork intersection of U.S. Route 33, while Fisher went to the Red Rock Road intersection. At about 3 a.m. while running stationary radar, Fisher located Gregory traveling on Route 33 East, allegedly driving at 103 miles per hour.
Fisher initiated his blue lights and attempted to perform a traffic stop on the white Jeep. The Jeep activated its right turn signal, moved into the slow lane and initially appeared to stop; however, the Jeep then allegedly continued fleeing in a reckless manner. While in pursuit, the speed of Fisher’s cruiser reached 116 miles per hour, but he was still “losing distance” on the white Jeep, according to the report.
According to the complaint, a witness told police that Gregory eventually turned onto Smith Avenue without utilizing his headlights, and Fisher located the white Jeep in front of a residence on Viorandy Lane. Bender, Hissam and Fisher began searching the area for Gregory. Eventually, a woman who lived at the residence unlocked the door and gave officers permission to search for Gregory.
Bender and Fisher reportedly located Gregory passed out in an “intoxicated state” on his bed, and Bender and Fisher removed Gregory from the bed. When they handcuffed him, he allegedly became irate, “planted his feet and pushed back” against police, who laid him down on the couch. According to the report, Bender grabbed Gregory under the armpits, and Fisher attempted to hold his legs while Gregory allegedly repeatedly kicked Fisher.
When officers escorted Gregory outside, he allegedly sat on the ground, refused to move and yelled profanities. When Fisher attempted to place Gregory’s legs in shackles, Gregory allegedly kicked Fisher multiple times, almost knocking him to the ground, the report alleges. When Bender and Fisher began carrying Gregory to a police cruiser, Gregory allegedly placed his feet down, attempting to stop the officers from moving him. Gregory slid his foot up and under Fisher’s leg, allegedly knocking him to the ground and falling on top of him, the complaint says. Bender, Hissam, Fisher and Sgt. William Courtney with the BPD got him to the back door of Fisher’s cruiser.
Hissam advised Fisher to get a leg hobble. While doing so, Gregory began pulling on his handcuffs to get his hands free and once they were free, he allegedly began to force himself out of the police cruiser. Courtney grabbed Gregory and placed him on the ground and Bender secured his arms. While adjusting Gregory’s handcuffs, he continued to yell profanities at the officers and a woman identified as his girlfriend.
The officers got Gregory seated, and he allegedly grabbed a handful of rocks and threw them, striking Fisher in the face, according to the report. Bender and Courtney let go of the subject to open the cruiser door, and he grabbed another handful of rocks and threw them, striking Fisher in the face again. Fisher bent down, picked up Gregory, and placed him in the back of his cruiser.
Gregory allegedly stated, “I will [expletive] kill you and your whole family, and your daughter will eat my [expletive.]”
After being placed in the back of the cruiser, Gregory attempted to break the door handle and started banging his head off the window, the report states. While being transported, Gregory allegedly said, “I don’t play around; I’ll kill you and your whole family.”
Upshur County Magistrate Mark Davis set bail at $30,000 cash only.
The penalty for a conviction of retaliation against a public official is confinement in a state penitentiary for not less than one nor more than 10 years or a fine of up to $2,000 or both, while the possible penalty for escape of a person in the custody of officers is imprisonment in the penitentiary for not more than five years. Finally, the potential penalty for fleeing with reckless indifference is a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000 and confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than five years.