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Police log

September 10, 1998

K-9 helps catch burglary suspect

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A West Virginia state trooper and his K-9 partner helped Berkeley County sheriff's deputies nab a burglary suspect early Wednesday, according to police.

Deputies responded to a report that several males forced their way into an apartment in building 407 of Roberts Gardens and assaulted someone in the residence, according to Capt. Curtis Keller of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

When deputies stopped a vehicle containing a possible suspect around 2:30 a.m., the driver ran off and eluded officers, Keller said.

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Officers requested help from state police, which sent Trooper Jason Laing and K-9 officer Jerro, a black German shepherd, said West Virginia State Police Sgt. J.A. Humphrey.

When the pair found the suspect hiding, the man ran into a wooded area, Humphrey said.

Laing warned him to stop several times before he sent Jerro in to get him, he said. Fighting the dog, the suspect suffered puncture wounds to both legs, Humphrey said.

Francis Nathan Payne, 19, of Route 3, Box 57P, Shepherdstown, W.Va., was charged with burglary, obstructing and officer and fleeing, Keller said.

Trailer ball blasts through roof

WALKERSVILLE, Md. - A trailer ball was shot by a shredder through a school Wednesday morning, according to Maryland State Police.

A fifth-grader at Glade Elementary School heard a noise in the gymnasium at about 7:30 a.m., police said.

Staff members discovered a 2-inch hole in the roof. Police determined that a trailer ball was propelled by a shredder or chipper.

County workers were grinding shrubbery and trees into mulch about 750 feet away in Heritage Park, police said.

The one-pound trailer ball, which is used to connect trailers to towing vehicles, was fed accidentally into the chipper and hurled toward the school, police said.

No one was in the gym at the time, police said.

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