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Magistrate to set suppression hearing in W.Va. doctor's case

July 29, 2006|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The attorney for an Inwood doctor charged with operating a backhoe while intoxicated and hitting a deputy who arrested him said Friday in a status hearing that his client was under the influence of some type of "medication - slash - possible consumption of alcohol."

On Friday, Berkeley County Magistrate Harry L. Snow agreed to schedule a suppression hearing after Dr. John C. Veltman's attorney, Craig B. Manford, made the remarks, and also told the judge he only received a copy of video footage concerning the incident Friday.

Manford also said his client had made some type of restitution in the case.

Veltman, 52, was charged earlier this year with DUI, battery on an officer, obstructing an officer and refusing to be fingerprinted, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

Witnesses told deputies that Veltman drove the backhoe through a fence that separates a gas main, backed up and hit a building, then ran into a garage door before driving through another yard and into a tree.

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Berkeley County Sheriff's Department Deputy S.D. Myers found Veltman sitting on the backhoe with his head down, according to court records.

Veltman failed two field sobriety tests, and at the sheriff's department, he would not properly blow into a machine that determines blood-alcohol content, Myers said.

While he was being processed, court records indicate Veltman told Myers, "I am a (expletive) medical doctor and you are below me."

Myers said Veltman hit him on the shoulder. Veltman had to be restrained and carried to a police cruiser so he could be taken to Eastern Regional Jail, according to court records.

Dressed in a dark blue shirt and black pants for the court appearance, Veltman did not speak at the hearing, but consulted with Manford for sometime afterward outside the courtroom.

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