Motorcycle rider charged after police chase


ELKINS — A Valley Head man is behind bars after allegedly leading police on a chase and striking a state police cruiser during a pursuit Monday afternoon.

Joshua Paul Woods has been charged with fleeing with reckless indifference, a felony, and is currently lodged in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on two $50,000 cash-only bonds set by Randolph County Magistrate Ben Shepler.

At approximately 3:49 p.m. on Monday, Elkins City Police Corporal C.G. Boatwright observed a man sit on a motorcycle and then get back off when he saw the officer nearby at the Four Seasons Apartments on Harrison Avenue, according to the criminal complaint.

Boatwright then positioned himself in a location to observe the motorcycle and began to run the Ohio registration that was displayed on the bike, the complaint states. The motorcycle left the apartments and Corporal B.D. Tice said he was familiar with the bike and rider, and said he had previously stopped the male subject, identified as Woods, for driving with a suspended license at that time.

The bike went down one of the nearby streets and made a turn without signaling, prompting police to initiate emergency lights and sirens for a traffic stop, according to the complaint. At this time Woods looked back at police and began to accelerate toward the Flood Control Road, where West Virginia State Police Sgt. D.W. Simmons was traveling in front of the motorcycle and attempted to block the roadway.

The bike was able to get in front of Simmons and during the pursuit Woods ran the motorcycle into the passenger side of the cruiser, the complaint states.

After the motorcycle collided with the cruiser, Boatwright took the lead on the pursuit that reached speeds of 70 miles per hour on the Flood Control Road. The chase transferred over onto Georgetown Road, where the bike exceeded 100 miles per hour, according to the complaint.

The motorcycle continued on Georgetown Road, using both lanes of traffic, and nearly struck a truck head-on after passing a vehicle on the road, the complaint states. The motorcycle eventually shut off and Woods raised his hands before being placed in hand restraints and led into a cruiser.

Damage to the fender and both doors on the passenger side of the state police cruiser occurred during the chase, police said. The damages sustained are believed to be in excess of approximately $5,000.


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