Martinsburg man charged with kidnapping

January 01, 2011
  • Gary Woodrow Poole
West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A Martinsburg man has been charged with kidnapping after a Friday afternoon incident in which police said he refused to let his estranged girlfriend out of his car, drove recklessly and spoke of wanting police to shoot him, West Virginia State Police said in a news release.

Gary Woodrow Poole, 32, of 311 Tenacious Heights in Martinsburg, was charged with kidnapping, driving on a suspended license and domestic assault, Trooper T.D. Gillmore said in the release.

Gilmore got the report of the kidnapping Friday about 2:30 p.m. when Charles Town, W.Va., emergency dispatchers said they had a woman on a 911 call who was being held against her will and was providing her location while a vehicle was in motion, Gillmore said.

With assistance from the Berkeley County Sheriffs Department, police found the vehicle headed east on Allensville Road in Berkeley County at 3:48 p.m., Gillmore said.


Police stopped the vehicle and took Poole into custody without incident, he said.

The woman, Bonnie Johnson, 27, of Martinsburg, was not harmed, Gillmore said.

Gillmore later was notified that Poole had a suspended West Virginia driver’s license, he said. Gillmore took Johnson to the state police detachment for debriefing.

Johnson said she and Poole had been separated for about 12 months, but had two children together, and she was with him Friday because of the holidays, Gillmore said.

While Johnson was in the vehicle with Poole, he started reading her a letter that spoke about killing himself because of their relationship, Gillmore said. Johnson said she became uncomfortable and tried to get out of the car, but Poole started up the car, sped off down the road and told her that she was not leaving the car and that she was going to “share in his pain,” Gillmore said.

Johnson said she repeatedly told Poole to let her out of the car, but he refused, Gillmore said.

She said he was driving in a reckless manner and she was scared of him, so she called 911 and was able to keep the phone on to give direction for law enforcement, Gillmore said.

She said he would not slow down enough for her to jump from the car, he said.

“She stated that he said he wanted police to shoot him and that he was going to run from the cops and force them to kill him in front of her,” Gillmore said.

Poole was being held without bond Saturday at Eastern Regional Jail, a jail spokesman said.

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