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Rock Cave man arrested Sunday for allegedly fleeing in vehicle, on foot

ROCK CAVE – A Rock Cave man was arrested early Sunday morning after allegedly fleeing from police in a vehicle, crashing that vehicle near the Salem Ridge Road and then running away on foot.

Richard Ferrant, 34, was arrested for fleeing with reckless indifference, a felony; fleeing on foot, a misdemeanor; obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor; and driving with no operator’s license, a misdemeanor.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer Deputy Joseph Barcus with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department, on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 1:42 a.m., he and Sgt. M.W. Powers, also with the sheriff’s department were on general patrol on the Gaines Road in Rock Cave when the two officers saw a light-colored Buick Le Sabre.

The officers had been traveling north, and the driver of the Buick, later identified as Ferrant, was traveling south on the Gaines Road when the Buick passed them. The file says that as the driver passed them, he turned on his left turn signal and drove by with no driveway or road to pull into.

At that point, the officers then turned around and followed the vehicle to the Larry Anderson Road where they attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle for improper use of a turn signal. As they turned around, the vehicle allegedly took off at a high rate of speed. The officers then activated their emergency lights and sirens while the vehicle continued to flee at speeds of approximately 40-55 mph.

According to the report, the vehicle eventually turned north on the Guy Hardman Road before turning left and continuing north on Coon Club Road towards Salem Ridge Road.

The vehicle then left the roadway to the south and crashed approximately one-eighth of a mile before reaching the Salem Ridge Road, the file says. According to the report, after the vehicle wrecked, the driver, Ferrant, allegedly fled on foot into a wooded area towards a creek.

Powers, K-9 Officer AJ and Barcus began to pursue the driver on foot. Upon coming to a creek bed, Ferrant went into the water and stopped. According to the report, Ferrant eventually exited the creek, and the officers ordered him to get on the ground; however, he began to walk towards Barcus. Sgt. Powers then released K9 AJ, who “latched onto Ferrant’s right arm,” Barcus detailed in the complaint. Ferrant then complied and got on the ground.

According to the report, Ferrant was then placed in hand restraints and escorted to the patrol vehicle. The male passenger in the vehicle was still seated and told police he’d instructed Ferrant to stop because he feared how fast he was going, but Ferrant refused. The passenger was then released and left the scene on foot.

Ferrant reportedly told police he’d fled because the passenger allegedly had drug paraphernalia on him, and he – Ferrant – did not possess a valid driver’s license. Ferrant was then checked by EMS and transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital to be treated. Upon being treated and cleared, Ferrant was then processed and transported to Tygart Valley Regional Jail.

Bail was set at $60,500.

If convicted on the fleeing with reckless indifference charge, Ferrant faces a penalty of imprisonment in a state penitentiary for one to five years and a fine of $1,000 to $2,000. If convicted of the fleeing on foot and obstructing an officer charges, he faces confinement in jail for up to one year, a fine between $50 to $500 or both on each charge.

The penalty for a conviction of driving without an operator’s license is a fine of up to $100.

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