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W.Va. woman faces DUI, battery charges

November 18, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A woman was charged Thursday after police allege she stole merchandise from two stores, wrecked her pickup truck while driving drunk with her young daughter and then kicked a police officer, according to records filed in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

Pamela Lynn Artis, 28, of 53 Midnoon Drive, Martinsburg, was charged with two counts of third-offense shoplifting, child neglect, driving under the influence with a minor, battery on a police officer, reckless driving, driving without a license and obstructing police.

The incident started Wednesday, when merchandise worth $200 was reported stolen from a Dollar General Store on Eagle School Road in Martinsburg and a set of dishes worth $15 was stolen from a Goodwill store across the street, police said.

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In both instances, store employees witnessed the thefts and provided police with a description of the woman's pickup truck and the truck's license plate number, records state.

After checking the license plate number, police learned the woman's address and were heading to her home. While they were en route, West Virginia State Police Trooper J.D. Bird and Sgt. S.E. Davis saw a pickup truck straddling the median on W.Va. 9 west of Martinsburg, near the Hedgesville exit on-ramp.

The truck was still in gear and the driver was trying to leave, which would have caused her to drive into oncoming traffic, police said.

The officers pulled over to help the driver, who had her 8-year-old daughter with her. Both got out of the truck when the officers arrived and sat down in the median, police said.

As the officers tried to put a rack back into the bed of the pickup truck, they noticed the merchandise that had been stolen from the stores in the truck's bed and then realized the license plate number matched that given by store employees, police said.

Bird then tried to talk to the woman, who "became very agitated and began to shout commands," records state.

The officers tried to calm the woman down, but she became more belligerent and uncooperative, according to records. Bird said the woman's breath smelled of alcohol and she later registered a .231 on a preliminary breath test - nearly three times the legal limit of .08, records allege.

The woman tried to pull away when the trooper attempted to handcuff her, records state. After she was handcuffed and placed into the back seat of the trooper's police cruiser, she kicked Bird several times in the chest and arms, records allege.

Artis was being held Thursday in Eastern Regional Jail on $34,500 bond.

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