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Man who reportedly had an asthma attack near the Whistle Stop Bar & Grill arrested for alleged felony shoplifting

BUCKHANNON – A Buckhannon man was arrested for felony shoplifting after allegedly taking coils for a vape.

Jonathan Dean, 34, was recently arrested for third-offense shoplifting, a felony, and obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by Upshur County Sheriff’s Deputy C.A. Forte, on Jan. 23, 2023, Forte was assisting Patrolman James Fisher with the Buckhannon Police Department with a welfare check in the area behind the Whistle Stop Bar & Grill.

A caller on Newlon Street said a male knocked on his door and stated that he was having an asthma attack and asked to have an ambulance called but then proceeded to walk away.

Forte then knocked on a second residence on Front Street to see if the man had also knocked on their door. A woman answered the door and said a man also stated he was having an asthma attack and needed an ambulance. A second person at the home told police that the man who was reportedly having the asthma attack went by the name of “John Dean,” according to the criminal complaint.

Shortly after, the male came out from behind the house, claiming he needed to be seen by Upshur EMS, which was paged to treat the man reportedly experiencing breathing difficulties. Forte asked what the man’s name was, and he said his name was Christopher Lee Dean, but police later allegedly found several mugshots of a Jonathan William Dean that matched the appearance of the male who had emerged from behind the house.

“While the man on scene was truly Jonathan William Dean, he acted as if he was a Christopher Lee Dean and gave both officers the name of Christopher Lee Dean,” Forte wrote in the police report. Law enforcement officers discovered that Dean was wanted on a felony shoplifting offense.

The third-offense shoplifting charge stems from an incident investigated by Lt. Doug Loudin with the Buckhannon Police Department. According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by Loudin, on Jan. 19, 2023, Dean allegedly “did knowingly and unlawfully take and conceal coils for a vape on his person and walked past the last point of sale at Cook’s Tobacco and More located at 1 Island Avenue in Buckhannon.”

The approximate value of the coils was $6. Dean pleaded guilty to first offense shoplifting on June 4, 2019, in Buckhannon and second-offense shoplifting on August 2, 2019, in Buckhannon, making this a third offense shoplifting, the file says. The incident was captured on video surveillance within the store. Dean stated he put the package back in a candy display before walking out of the store; however, Loudin and the store manager searched and could not locate the allegedly taken item.

Upshur County Magistrate Alan Suder set bail at $12,000 cash or surety. The potential penalty for shoplifting third offense is a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000 and imprisonment in the state penitentiary for not less than one year nor more than 10 years. The potential penalty for obstructing an officer is a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $500 or confinement in jail for not more than one year, or both.

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