Kentucky man arrested on multiple felony warrants from Upshur County related to alleged domestic abuse

BUCKHANNON – A Kentucky man was arrested earlier this week on multiple felony warrants related to alleged domestic assault charges after being spotted on the Three Lick Road in Upshur County.

Michael Fitzwater, 39, of Waynesburg Ky., formerly of Burnsville, West Virginia, was arrested Tuesday for one count of third-offense domestic battery, a felony; two counts of third-offense domestic assault, a felony; one count of strangulation, a felony; one count of malicious assault, a felony; and one count of fleeing from an officer on foot, a misdemeanor.

The warrants were connected to domestic abuse allegations that reportedly took place in Upshur County over the course of 2019, according to criminal complaints in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s office filed by Deputy Joseph Barcus and Cpl. Tyler Gordon, both with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department.

Fitzwater was ultimately apprehended after fleeing from police on foot, according to Barcus’s complaint. Barcus wrote that on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, he received a report of a suspicious person on a four-wheeler on Three Lick Road. The caller said the male subject was riding a four-wheeler and pulling a trailer onto her property. The caller said that when she asked what he was doing, Fitzwater told her he “he got turned around” and left the premises.

However, when Barcus saw the male subject, Fitzwater, standing by a four-wheeler with a trailer hooked to it at the end of Three Lick Road about 15 minutes later, Fitzwater allegedly began to run away on foot before Barcus could get out of his patrol vehicle.

Fitzwater reportedly headed west on foot, down an embankment and through a cornfield prior to stopping, laying down on his stomach and placing his hands behind his back, at which point Barcus arrested him on numerous outstanding warrants, including strangulation and malicious assault.

The most recent complaint filed by Gordon is related to an alleged incident on Nov. 28, 2019, during which Fitzwater became angry with a female victim and allegedly “shoved her to the ground, against a closet door” of a residence on Angler Street prior to throwing a flashlight at her.

Two other incidents allegedly occurred in March 2019 and April 2019 involving the same female victim, according to the file. During a March 4, 2019 incident, Fitzwater allegedly entered the residence he shared with the victim appearing to be impaired on alcohol or drugs. He then allegedly picked up a back massager on a dresser, broke off the metal balls of the massager and “threw multiple balls at the victim,” the complaint says.

Fitzwater then allegedly climbed on top of the victim, began choking her with one hand and attempted to “shove” one of the metal balls down her throat, making it difficult for her to breathe.

“The victim stated she believed she was going to die,” Gordon wrote in the report. She reportedly suffered a busted lip and had several marks on and around her neck but did not report the incident to law enforcement because she was afraid of Fitzwater, the complaint states.

About a month prior, on Feb. 4, 2019, Fitzwater entered the residence he shared with the same female victim and “destroyed the house,” allegedly pushing her to the floor and throwing a full glass mason jar of moonshine at her head.

“The victim said the glass shattered all over her,” Gordon wrote in one of the complaints.

Video statements from two witnesses corroborated the victim’s statement, Gordon noted in the report. The same day, the victim “begged to go to the hospital due to her heart condition but was only allowed to go after Fitzwater let her.”

According to the report, Fitzwater eventually took her to the hospital, but allegedly threatened to kill her by driving into the river or into a telephone pole, the file says.

Fitzwater is being held in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on a $175,000 bond.

The penalty for convictions of domestic battery, third offense; domestic assault third offense; and strangulation is confinement in the state penitentiary for one to five years, a fine of up to $2,500 or both on each count.

The penalty for a conviction of malicious assault is confinement in the state penitentiary for one to five years or confinement for up to one year and a fine of up to $500. Meanwhile, the penalty for a conviction of fleeing on foot is a fine of $50 to $500, confinement in jail for not more than one year or both.

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