Runaway driver captured in North Carolina
A man that tried to run down two state police troopers last week during a copper theft in the Sir Johns Run area was captured in North Carolina over the weekend.
David James Windham was arrested and is being held in North Carolina pending extradition, said West Virginia State Police Sergeant S.E. Davis of the Berkeley Springs detachment.
Windham faces charges of two counts of attempted unlawful assault on a police officer and one count of grand larceny, Davis said. There are also fugitive charges involved.
According to a press release from Davis, Senior State Trooper S.R. Smith
and State Trooper D.R. Walker from the Berkeley Springs detachment received information that Windham had fled to the Wilmington, North Carolina area.
They contacted the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Department in North Carolina and advised them of the active warrants against Windham. The Hanover Sheriff’s Department went to the residence at which they believed the man was staying and found him hiding in an upstairs bedroom.
On Monday evening, May 14, Windham had cut down numerous strands of copper signal wire and was pulling them with a truck along the CSX access road near Sir Johns Run Road. Troopers Smith and Walker, who were responding to a copper theft complaint at the location, arrived on the scene at 9:22 p.m.
As the troopers were walking the access road, Windham’s truck approached them. They illuminated the driver, identified themselves and ordered him to stop.
Windham accelerated and steered toward the troopers, attempting to hit them with his truck. As they got out of the way, the officers fired three shots.
Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputy Dennis Jenkins intercepted Windham’s vehicle and attempted a felony stop, but Windham got out of the truck, ran down an embankment and jumped into the river, Davis said.
Jenkins sprained and bruised his knee during the foot chase, said Morgan County Sheriff Vince Shambaugh. He was treated at War Memorial Hospital and released and didn’t miss work due to his injury.
Shambaugh said police searched the West Virginia and Maryland sides of the Potomac River with K-9 units the River from 9:30 a.m. until around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning without finding Windham. A helicopter search of the river also occurred on Tuesday.
West Virginia State Police were assisted in the search by the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department, the Hancock Police Department, the Maryland State Police, the Paw Paw Police Department, the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Department and the CSX police.
Windham has local ties to the Berkeley Springs area. The Chevy pick-up Windham was driving during the incident belonged to his mother, Davis said. Shambaugh said that Windham was staying with people in the Sir Johns Run area.