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Chase suspect caught, arrested

August 05, 1999|By BRYN MICKLE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Five days after a high-speed chase injured a sheriff's deputy and left two police cruisers wrecked, a Shepherdstown, W.Va., man was found Tuesday and charged with attempted murder.

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James William Jacobs, 37, of Shepherdstown, was arraigned on seven felony and misdemeanor charges Wednesday morning in Berkeley County Magistrate Court and held on $81,862 bond in the Eastern Regional Jail.

Jacobs was arrested shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday in a home on Sir John's Run Road in Berkeley Springs, W.Va. Police had received a tip that Jacobs was staying at the home but was getting ready to leave the Eastern Panhandle, Berkeley County Sheriff's Department Capt. C.E. Keller said.

Police found him behind a bedroom door in the home and arrested him without incident, Keller said.

The July 29 chase started about 1 a.m. in the Williamsport area after a Washington County Sheriff's deputy tried to stop a sky blue Chevrolet Camaro for a traffic violation on U.S. 11, police said.

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A Berkeley County Sheriff's deputy sent to the Falling Waters, W.Va., area to assist in the pursuit spotted the car parked on U.S. 11 and followed it onto northbound Interstate 81, according to court records.

The chase crisscrossed Berkeley County roads and the Camaro reached speeds of 100 mph on I-81 and 90 mph on U.S. 11, according to court records.

A West Virginia State Police trooper was almost hit by the Camaro on I-81 after the driver swerved around a set of "stop sticks" placed on the road to shred the car's tires, court records say.

Berkeley County Sheriff's Deputy Willie Johnson was treated for an arm injury after a state police cruiser ran into the back of his cruiser during the chase, police said.

The chase continued from I-81 onto U.S. 11 and into the Whitings Neck area, where police began shooting at the car.

Berkeley County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Dennis Streets said he hit the rear of the Camaro, causing it to spin and run off the road.

Streets attempted to approach the car after it ran off the road, but he alleged the driver tried to run him over.

Streets fired six shots, hitting the Camaro once in the passenger door, police said.

Police lost the car, only to find it again around 3:35 a.m. parked on Scrabble Road.

The Camaro's driver again eluded police, but the car was found empty along Rocky Marsh Road off W.Va. 45 at about 5:14 p.m.

Jacobs was charged with attempted murder, fleeing causing bodily injury, reckless driving, obstruction and fleeing in a vehicle, crossing a median strip, improper registration, no proof of insurance and no inspection sticker, according to court records.

A West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles check on Jacobs showed his driver's license had been indefinitely suspended in January for unpaid tickets, according to court records.

Conviction on an attempted murder charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

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