MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The president of the Waynesboro (Pa.) Borough Council was arrested Monday by police in Berkeley County, W.Va., and charged with malicious wounding in a Feb. 13 bar fight in Martinsburg in which a 44-year-old man suffered head injuries.
Craig Newcomer, 46, was arraigned and posted $50,000 bond through a bondsman.
Newcomer, who was first elected to the borough council in 2005, also won election in 2009 to a six-year term as a constable for Waynesboro’s Third Ward.
Police allege Newcomer, identified by the name “Guido” in the Avenger Motorcycle Club, punched Virginia resident Ernest Eugene Cumbie, who was flown by helicopter to Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va.
In court documents, police said Cumbie suffered scalp hematoma, multiple facial and skull fractures, frontal lobe contusions and traumatic brain injury. An update on Cumbie’s condition was unavailable Monday.
Martinsburg Police Lt. George Swartwood wrote in charging documents that Avenger Motorcycle Club members discussed “Guido” striking the victim at Martinsburg’s Dirty Dawg Saloon because he “wanted to break in his new ring.”
In a phone interview Monday, Newcomer said he’s innocent of the charge and plans to continue serving on the borough council. He said it was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“The information they gathered to charge me was completely preposterous,” Newcomer said.
When asked about the circumstances, Newcomer said his attorney, Dan James of Keyser, W.Va., advised him not to discuss them.
“In the end, it’ll all come out,” he said, saying he’s hopeful the charge will be dismissed.
Newcomer and some of his family members work for Maranatha Ministries, a Chambersburg, Pa.-based organization where he assists homeless people and teaches them biblical principles. He said he has been serving as a Christian witness to the Avenger Motorcycle Club for the past several years.
“They’re trying to make this a motorcycle club thing and it’s not. ... I know God was there and saw what happened,” Newcomer said.
Police collected statements from several people at Dirty Dawg Saloon, at 1019 S. Queen St., when they arrived at 2:25 a.m. Feb. 13. Based on those statements, police allege five people traveled from Pennsylvania to West Virginia, stopping at Martinsburg’s VIP Gentlemen’s Club and then Dirty Dawg Saloon.
“It was determined that (Newcomer) alone struck the victim that fell to the floor and had to be later administered critical life support,” police wrote in a news release.
Police allege the group returned to the VIP Gentlemen’s Club, where a motorcycle club member known as “4th Grade” told people “Guido” was itching for a fight. Police said one woman told officers “Guido” said, “I wonder if I killed the guy.”
Police charged “4th Grade” — Benjamin Jason Bean, 35, of Hagerstown — with felony accessory after the fact for allegedly providing false statements to police.
Staff writers Dan Dearth, Kate S. Alexander and Don Aines contributed to this story.