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Man charged following high-speed pursuit

September 21, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Gerrardstown, W.Va., man was charged Monday with leading police on a high-speed pursuit and trying to hit a police officer with his car, police said.

Gregory Lee Riggs, 25, whose address is listed as a post office box in Gerrardstown, was charged with attempted murder and bringing stolen property into the state.

Magistrate Sandra Miller arraigned Riggs Monday night and set his bail at $100,000.

The pursuit began at 2:25 p.m. when Sgt. Russell Shackelford of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department tried to pull over a silver Dodge Caravan that had been reported stolen from Virginia.

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Shackelford and other officers pursued the van on U.S. 11 north of Martinsburg, Mid-Atlantic Parkway, Interstate 81, Dry Run Road, Thatcher Road and Tuscarora Pike, police said.

Deputy G.W. Bradshaw said speeds exceeded 100 mph on the interstate and were between 60 and 80 mph on the two-lane roads.

On U.S. 11, the driver was twice able to evade a set of spikes that were placed on the road in an attempt to deflate the van's tires, police said.

On Tuscarora Pike, Deputy Brad Dusek threw another set of the spikes onto the road. Dusek alleged that the driver straightened the van but then spotted Dusek and swerved to try to hit him.

Dusek was able to get out of the way and in turn pull the spikes back with him, he said. The spikes punctured both of the van's passenger-side tires, Dusek said.

At that time the driver lost control of the van, which went through a field and hit a tree, police said. Inside the van, police found a loaded rifle, Dusek said.

A 17-year-old girl who was in the van ran for 25 to 30 yards before she was caught, but the driver was able to run farther before he was taken into custody, police said.

Other officers who assisted during the pursuit were Deputy R.L. Steerman and Lt. Dennis Streets with the sheriff's department and Sgt. Dean Olack and Trooper E.M. McFarland with the West Virginia State Police.

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