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W.Va. man faces 10 charges following chase in car, on foot

January 12, 2007|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - After engaging in a high-speed vehicle pursuit with police on Wednesday night in northern Berkeley County, a 39-year-old man allegedly fled from the vehicle and crawled under a mobile home in a second effort to apparently avoid arrest, Magistrate Court records show.

His wife allegedly attempted to halt her husband's arrest as well, according to a complaint filed with the court Thursday by West Virginia State Police Trooper D.S. See.

Curtis Leon Bright, of 301 Shale Pit Drive, in Sportsmans Paradise, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving a vehicle with a license suspended for a second time, fleeing on foot, obstructing law enforcement, speeding, reckless driving, no insurance, passing in a no-passing zone and improper motor vehicle insurance, records show.

Bright's wife, Denise Melissa Stevens, 31, was charged with obstructing law enforcement, records show.

See said he was patrolling U.S. 11 near the intersection of Joshua Drive about 9 p.m. when he saw a dark blue 1988 Ford F-250 truck heading north, and his radar unit determined the vehicle was traveling 63 mph in a 45-mph zone.

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See said he pursued the vehicle for about eight miles on U.S. 11 after the driver failed to heed his siren and emergency lights and attempted to flee at an even higher rate of speed, topping out at 90 mph.

The truck swerved across the center line and passed several vehicles in a no-passing zone before turning onto Broad Lane and then to Shale Pit Drive in Sportsmans Paradise, where the driver fled from the vehicle and disappeared behind a mobile home, later determined to be Bright's residence, See said.

There, two other troopers who arrived to help See with the pursuit, were followed by Bright's wife, who appeared at times to be attempting to distract them from finding him, See said.

Bright was found with the assistance of two deputies with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department, who arrived at the residence with a police dog, See said.

The dog made "a hit" under the front porch of the residence and police surrounded the home after hearing movement underneath the home. Bright was taken into custody about 9:45 p.m., when he attempted to crawl out from beneath the trailer, See said.

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