Buckhannon man charged with battery also arrested for obstructing

BUCKHANNON – A Buckhannon man was arrested for domestic battery and obstructing an officer Thursday after he allegedly refused to allow police to place him in handcuffs following a domestic dispute.

According to the complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s office, Paul Dunaway Jr., 30, was charged with domestic battery, a misdemeanor, and obstructing an officer, also a misdemeanor, following an incident that allegedly took place at a residence in Valley Green apartments.

Investigating officer Deputy Seth Cutright with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department received a call about a domestic altercation in Valley Green, and upon responding, learned the two individuals involved lived together and had a child in common.

Cutright wrote in the report that a neighbor had heard banging against the wall.

“When this officer (Cutright) arrived on scene, I could hear the two … yelling at one another,” Cutright wrote.

When the deputy tried to talk to the victim, she refused to talk to him, the complaint states.

However, upon observing a red mark on the victim’s neck, Cutright tried to handcuff Dunaway, but Dunaway allegedly resisted.

“The defendant then would not give this officer (Cutright) his other arm to be placed into handcuffs,” Cutright wrote.

The deputy then “took [Dunaway] to the ground” in an attempt to handcuff him.

Dunaway continued to resist, the file alleges, but Cutright was eventually able to remove Dunaway’s other hand from underneath his body and place him in handcuffs.

Cpl. Marshall O’Connor with the Buckhannon Police Department, who had by then arrived on scene, allegedly observed dried blood on the victim’s nose.

Dunaway was arrested and remained in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail as of Friday night.

Magistrate Mike Coffman set bond at $10,000 and ordered Dunaway to have no contact with the victim.

The penalty for a conviction of domestic battery is imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of up to $500. The penalty for a conviction of obstructing an officer is imprisonment up to one year and/or a fine ranging from $50 to $500.

In an unrelated case that also occurred on Thursday, Nov. 15, Harry Safewright, 64, of Buckhannon, was arrested for one count of domestic battery after an incident that allegedly transpired in Tenney’s Mobile Home Park.


According to the file in the magistrate clerk’s office, investigating officer V.J. Pyles with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police was dispatched to a residence in the mobile home park.

Pyles talked to Safewright and learned that he’d been arguing with the victim, his wife.

When Pyles asked the victim what had occurred, the corporal allegedly “was advised that the defendant had placed his hands around her throat but had not choked her or made her lose consciousness,” according to the file.

Pyles saw a red mark on the victim’s neck, the complaint states.

“The victim was less than cooperative in telling her story but did advise that previous domestic related issues had occurred between the two,” Pyles wrote in the report. “Due to the nature of the call, the act of placing his hands upon the neck of the victim, and marks which were evident upon arrival, this officer (Pyles) arrested” Safewright, charging him with one count of domestic battery.

Magistrate Kay Hurst set bond at $10,000 cash or surety.

The penalty for a conviction of domestic battery is confinement in jail for up to one year or a fine of up to $500 or both.

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