A 67 year old Henlawson resident was recently able to evade police by reportedly speeding down a densely populated area and fleeing on foot.
On Aug. 16, Trooper M.J. Miller, with the West Virginia State Police, was performing routine road patrols on County Route 5 in the Mud Fork area when he reportedly encountered a vehicle driven by James Edward Bryant, 67, of Henlawson. From his previous investigations, Miller reports he knew Bryant did not have a valid driver’s license.
When Miller attempted to execute a traffic stop, Bryant reportedly accelerated and fled for a short distance before turning onto the Shamrock bridge. Bryant allegedly proceeded down Independence Street at a high rate of speed and nearly struck another vehicle after turning onto Logan Heights Road only to drive down a dead end road and flee on foot.
A warrant was subsequently issued for Bryant’s arrest in Logan County Magistrate Court Aug. 20. The same day, Miller travelled to Henlawson to execute the felony warrant on Bryant. Miller reports being in the rear of Bryant’s residence when he saw Bryant attempt to flee from the home’s backdoor. Bryant reportedly failed to comply with Miller’s commands to stop; after a short chase, Miller was able to catch Bryant and place him into custody.
Bryant is charged with a felony count of fleeing with reckless indifference and misdemeanor counts of failing to observe a stop sign, driving without operators, fleeing on foot and obstructing. If Bryant is found guilty on all counts, he could be forced to spend up to seven years in a state correctional facility and pay between $2,050 and $4,000 in fines. Bond was set to $50,000.
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Criminal complaints are public information. Charges listed in a complaint are merely accusations; defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Owen Wells is a reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1729 or by email at [email protected]