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Berkeley County deputy resigns following arrest

November 21, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Berkeley County Sheriff's Department deputy who resigned Monday after being arrested on charges stemming from a bar fight is tentatively scheduled to appear in magistrate court for his preliminary hearing on Jan. 4, according to court records.

Xavier Elias Morales, 25, of 2968 Sulphur Springs Road, was arraigned Sunday by Berkeley County Magistrate Joan V. Bragg on misdemeanor charges of battery, resisting arrest, obstruction (two counts), destruction of property, public intoxication and assault of a police officer. Bragg set a $12,100 bond for Morales.

Morales was arrested early Sunday at Piggy's, a club at 12639 Winchester Ave., south of Bunker Hill, W.Va., off U.S. 11 near the Virginia state line with Berkeley County, according to court records.

Sheriff W. Randy Smith said in a phone interview Tuesday that Morales was a "model employee" up until the alleged incident.

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"It happens - we're just like every other spectrum in society," Smith said. "Everybody has their problems."

Smith said he believed deputies who responded to a report of a disturbance at the club and used a Taser to cuff Morales acted appropriately.

In a complaint filed in magistrate court, Sheriff's Department Deputy A.T. Burns said he saw Morales fighting with "several people" when he arrived at the club just after midnight.

Burns alleged Morales was highly intoxicated and resisted arrest and later broke a passenger's side window out in his cruiser.

A bouncer at the club also told police he was bitten by Morales, Burns said in his complaint against the accused.

After being processed at the Sheriff's Department, the accused twice told Smith that he wanted to kill him, Smith said Tuesday. A complaint filed with the court indicates the accused said he wanted to shoot the sheriff, which Smith said was incorrect.

Morales' hiring as a deputy for court security was approved Nov. 30, 2006, by the Berkeley County Commission but wasn't made effective until Dec. 11, 2006, according to Berkeley County Commission meeting records.

Smith said Morales also completed training at the West Virginia State Police Academy to work as a patrol deputy.

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