Bond reduction was denied Thursday for a man charged with attempting to flee a traffic stop in a state trooper's cruiser.
The felony fleeing charge and seven misdemeanor charges against David Doyle, 39, of Pocahontas County, will be be bound over to Randolph County Circuit Court following Thursday's hearing.
Magistrate Ben Shepler made the ruling after hearing testimony from two West Virginia State Police troopers that Doyle attempted to steal a cruiser and escape.
Shepler denied the defense's request to reduce Doyle's $150,000 cash only bond.
Doyle was arrested Sept. 10 after a routine traffic stop led to two people fleeing from the police and Doyle allegedly attempting to steal a cruiser and having a physical alteration with the officers.
Doyle was represented by attorney Dwight Hall during the preliminary hearing. Assistant Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Shannon Johnson presented the case against Doyle.
Johnson called Trooper M.J. Wilson to the stand to give his account of what happened when he pulled over a car allegedly driven by Archie Arbogast with Doyle in the passenger seat and Erica Wilson in the back seat.
"I was out on road patrol that night and I pulled behind a green Ford Explorer," he said. "There were several items stacked in the back blocking the view and I initiated a traffic stop."
Wilson said Arbogast gave consent for Wilson to search the vehicle.
"I had all three of them standing in front of their car and Trooper First Class (K.A.) Corley arrived on scene to assist," Wilson said, adding that once Corley was on scene Arbogast and Doyle were separated for safety.
"We continued the search and started to find items in the car, needles and foil. I placed cuffs on Arbogast," Wilson said. "TFC Corley found several precursors for making methamphetamine: Sudafed, mason jars and coffee filters."
Wilson testified that when Corley informed Doyle what was found Doyle ran toward Corley's cruiser and got in the driver's seat. The trooper said that Doyle looked for the cruiser's shifter on the side of the steering column, but it is located near the radios by the center console.
"He attempted to put the car in drive," Wilson said. "When I entered the vehicle I gave repeated verbal commands, he ignored them."
Wilson said he wrestled Doyle to the backseat of the cruiser and was able to place him in handcuffs. He said the altercation in the car caused damage to the radios, and that Corley was attempting to remove Doyle from the car while Wilson was tangling with the suspect.
"While we were in the vehicle, Mr. Doyle became combative and he struck TFC Corley," he said. "He bit me in the left forearm."
Wilson said the alleged attempt to take the cruiser was a high priority for the officers because of the weapons inside the vehicle.
"His threat level to the public was high," Wilson said. "Mrs. Watson stayed in front of the vehicle. Arbogast slipped his cuffs and fled on foot."
Arbogast is still at large, police said.
During cross examination, Hall asked if Watson was arrested. Wilson said he was not there when she was released.
"I went to the hospital to receive medical treatment," he said.
Hall called Corley to the stand and asked for his account of what happened. Corley said he was assisting Wilson at the stop and when he arrived the three suspects were standing in front of the vehicle. He said he was searching the passenger side of the vehicle when Doyle ran for his cruiser and said Doyle ignored verbal commands to stop.
Doyle is being charged with obstruction, two counts of battery on an officer, destruction of property, possession of a controlled substance, fleeing in a vehicle and conspiracy.
He is being held in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on a $150,000 cash only bond.
Hall argued in closing that Doyle didn't flee in the car because the vehicle was not under operation. Johnson said that state code maintains that attempting to flee in the vehicle was enough to warrant the charge.
"If Mr. Doyle would have secured this car it would have been a very dangerous situation," Johnson said.
Shepler agreed and found probable cause to send the charges on to Circuit Court.
"When he jumps into the driver's side, I don't think he was looking for Easter eggs," Shepler said.