FRENCH CREEK – A French Creek man who allegedly committed several hunting-related offenses in November 2018 was arrested Thursday after unsuccessfully attempting to hide from law enforcement.
James Robert Fisher, 35, was charged with a total of five misdemeanors, including having a loaded firearm in a vehicle, shooting from a roadway, hunting from a motor vehicle, being a person prohibited from owning a firearm and fleeing on foot, according to complaints filed in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s office by W.Va. Division of Natural Resources police officer Tanner Collins and Senior Trooper P.J. Robinette with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police.
According to the file, Collins received a report from an unidentified woman on Nov. 19, 2018 who said she saw Fisher – referred to throughout the report as “JimBob Fisher” – wearing camouflage and firing a gun from his red four-wheeler while it was in the roadway at 4:40 p.m. that day.
The witness told Collins that Fisher allegedly “drove past [the female witness] while smoking a cigarette, smiled and waved” at her. The witness then returned home “all while JimBob Fisher went to a neighbor’s house and asked permission to go into their field” to retrieve the deer he’d just shot.
Collins noted the witness “could positively identify JimBob due to his pudgy nose” and the fact that she’d seen him without a mask during their first encounter.
Fisher then reportedly traveled toward the Frenchton Road.
Collins’ report indicates that, at the time, Fisher was free on bond from a fleeing with reckless indifference charge; in addition, he had been convicted of grand larceny in 2002, making him ineligible to own a firearm.
On Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, Robinette reported that at 4:57 p.m., he, Sgt. Marshall Powers of the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department and Trooper J.S. Tonkin with the WVSP arrived at a residence on Slab Camp Road in French Creek to serve several warrants on Fisher.
Robinette said law enforcement had received information from an anonymous source that Fisher was driving a vehicle owned by a Tygart Valley Regional Jail inmate named Levina Norris – and that Fisher had been residing at Norris’ residence while she was incarcerated.
When officers arrived at the residence, they saw a man “matching [Fisher’s] appearance” standing in the backyard. According to Robinette’s account, Fisher then turned around, noticed the officers and began running toward the residence’s back door.
Officers eventually found Fisher hiding in the house’s attic “in an attempt to elude” law enforcement, Robinette wrote.
As of Friday evening, Fisher remained in TVRJ on a $45,000 cash or surety bond.