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French Creek man arrested for allegedly fleeing in a vehicle from state troopers

FRENCH CREEK – An Upshur County man was arrested on six charges Friday after allegedly fleeing from two state troopers who were attempting to conduct a traffic stop.

Daniel L. Alderman, 37, of French Creek, was arrested Friday, Oct. 15 for fleeing for reckless indifference, a felony, and on five misdemeanors: driving revoked for DUI, no insurance, driving while license suspended, improper registration and false MVI sticker.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer trooper Z.M. Lewis with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police, at approximately 7:30 p.m. Friday, Lewis was conducting road patrol around Pleasant Ridge Run Road in French Creek. While patrolling the area, Lewis spotted a white GMC Envoy traveling east on Kanawha Run Road with a loud, defective exhaust.

Trooper First Class J.P. Robinette and Lewis turned around and attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle, but when the patrol vehicle turned around, the GMC Envoy allegedly “rapidly accelerated” south down Pleasant Ridge Run Road. Lewis saw the vehicle in the distance, but the driver quickly shut off its headlights and the officers could no longer locate the vehicle, according to the file.

Lewis patrolled the area of Pleasant Ridge Run Road to locate the vehicle. After a short period of time, police checked the parking lot of Kanawha Run Church and saw the vehicle accelerating rapidly from the church back onto Pleasant Ridge Run Road, traveling north. Robinette and Lewis got behind the vehicle and activated their emergency lights and sirens and again attempted to initiate a traffic stop. The vehicle allegedly failed to pull over and “continued at speeds of up to 66 mph on an unmarked, unlined narrow roadway,” the complaint states.

In addition, the report alleges that while fleeing, the vehicle used the entire roadway “while negotiating curves in the opposite lane of travel.” The vehicle then turned onto Kanawha Run Road, where it continued to flee from the officers but eventually turned onto a dead-end gravel driveway. Upon reaching the end of the driveway, the vehicle stopped, and officers approached the vehicle and detained the driver, identified as Alderman, and a passenger.

Alderman told police he fled because “he had been in trouble before for driving.”

Lewis ran Alderman’s name through W.Va. State Police Elkins Communication Center, which showed he possessed a revoked operator’s license due to an active DUI with a conviction date of Aug. 24, 2015, according to the report. The WVSP Comm Center also showed Alderman’s driver’s license was suspended due to multiple unpaid citations with the most recent having an effective date of March 9, 2020.

Lewis ran the registration displayed on the vehicle and discovered it belonged to A2000 Subaru Impreza, and upon further investigation of the vehicle the MVI sticker displayed had reportedly been removed from a 2003 Pontiac. Alderman said he did not have insurance on the vehicle, the file states.

Upshur County Magistrate Alan Suder set bail at $35,800 cash or surety, and Alderman remained incarcerated in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail as of Tuesday morning, according to the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority website.

The penalty for fleeing with reckless indifference, the single felony charge, is confinement in a state prison for not less than one nor more than five years and a fine ranging between $1,000 and $2,000.

Meanwhile, the penalty for driving revoked for DUI is confinement in jail for a period of not less than 30 days nor more than six months and a fine of $100-$500, and the penalty for having no insurance is confinement in a regional jail for not less than 15 days nor more than one year or a fine of $200-$5,000.

In addition, the penalty for driving while license suspended is a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500, the penalty for improper registration is confinement for not more than six months or a fine of not more than $500 or both, and the penalty for false MVI sticker is confinement not more than 10 days or a fine of not more than $100.

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