Cops and Courts

Man charged after nearly crashing into deputy, fleeing the scene

Multiple police units from departments in the Morgantown area were called to a scene near the Morgantown Industrial Park Tuesday morning to help search for a fugitive suspect.

According to information from the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department, the incident began just before 9:30 a.m. on River Road when Deputy R.J. Martin was nearly struck by the driver of a silver Honda Pilot, almost causing a head-on collision between the two vehicles.

When Martin attempted to stop the vehicle, it kept going and traveled into the Morgantown Industrial Park The driver, later identified as Joel Barlow, abandoned his vehicle and took off on foot.

Deputy Martin chased Barlow while giving simple commands for him to stop but said he did not comply.

Additional police units were called in from Star City, Westover and Granville, as well as from the State Police, to assist in the search for Barlow.  Units from the Morgantown Police Department also responded to the area of the river as part of the search.

Barlow was eventually found in the bed of a dump truck, where he was hiding in order to elude law enforcement. Officers received assistance from firefighters to remove Barlow from the dump truck.

According to sheriff’s department officials, Barlow is currently being charged with fleeing with reckless indifference, a felony.

Barlow’s vehicle was secured by law enforcement and warrants for it to be searched are pending.  It is unknown if additional charges will be filed at this time.