Buckhannon man arrested for assault on state troopers


BUCKHANNON — What began as a destruction of property complaint turned into an alleged assault on state troopers responding to handle the call Friday.

Joseph Michael Snider, 52, of Buckhannon, was arrested for assault on an officer and two counts of obstructing an officer, all misdemeanors.

Senior Trooper P.J. Robinette and Trooper J.S. Tonkin with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police responded to a residence on the Hackers Creek Road after Judy Suttle called 911 to state her neighbor, Snider, was on her property cutting her grass on a riding mower causing rocks to hit her vehicle, according to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s office.

Suttle said she had asked Snider to stop but he began yelling obscenities at her and continuing to be on her property while highly intoxicated.

When the state troopers arrived, they found Snider on the lawn mower while holding what appeared to be a beer bottle.

Robinette motioned for Snider to come talk to him, but Snider allegeldy disregarded the request and continued to mow behind the outbuilding.

When approaching the state troopers after emerging from behind the outbuilding, Snider no longer had the beer bottle and shut off the lawn mower before jumping off. Snider stated, “I’m not dealing with this (expletive).”

Snider appeared to be under the influence of alcohol by staggering while walking, having slurred speech and bloodshot watery eyes. He walked into the garage of his residence, but Robinette informed him he needed to return outside to speak to the state troopers.

“The accused continued to yell obscenities while stating he had done nothing wrong but returned to the garage door entrance,” Robinette stated.

At that time, Tonkin dropped a post-it note on the ground and bent over to pick it up.

However, Snider then drew his right arm back while making a fist in a motion in which he was allegeldy intending to uppercut Tonkin the face, according to the criminal complaint.

Robinette, who was approximately five feet away, moved toward Snider and observed Snider spit on top of Tonkin’s head and begin an upward motion to strike him.

Robinette grabbed Snider and took him to the ground where Snider struggled to free himself.

Tonkin then begin assisting Robinette while Snider allegeldy resisted commands to comply.

After a brief struggle, Snider was placed into handcuffs.

Magistrate Mike Coffman set bail at $45,000 — $40,000 cash or surety and $5,000 cash only — and ordered Snider to have no contact with Suttle.

If convicted, Snider faces up to one year in jail and/or fined $50 to $500 on each count of obstructing an officer and confined in jail for up to six months and/or fined not more than $200 for assault on an officer.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)

Starting at $4.39/week.

Subscribe Today