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Man burned during arrest

October 25, 2006|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - A Jefferson County man was treated Monday at City Hospital for burns he received while being detained by members of the West Virginia State Police and Berkeley County Sheriff's Department near the Eastern Regional Jail after a high-speed pursuit, police said.

The man's identity and medical condition were not released by police, but Sheriff W. Randy Smith said he did not believe the burns were life-threatening.

Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely confirmed the man was taken to another medical center for his injuries, but she was unable to specify exactly where he was taken.

Ranson Police Department Chief William Roper said his agency was notified that the man took a sport utility vehicle at Jefferson County Used Cars at 613 N. Mildred St. for a test drive and failed to return it after several hours.

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Roper said Ranson Police Department Sgt. B.E. Mason found the vehicle between 5 and 5:30 p.m., and attempted to get the driver to stop.

Mason abandoned his pursuit on W.Va. 9 after the vehicle crossed into Berkeley County.

Smith said the man was traveling west in the eastbound lanes of W.Va. 9 before the Lexus sport utility vehicle was stopped near the regional jail about 5:30 p.m.

The sheriff declined to specifically say how the man was burned, but he described the arrest as "combative."

Roper could not specify the charges detailed in the warrants that his agency has obtained in the case.

State Police Sgt. E.D. Burnett said complaints charging the man with two counts of battery on an officer had been filed. The man was arrested with assistance from troopers.

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