Suspect from police pursuit arrested after leaving hospital

PARKERSBURG — A Parkersburg man injured while trying to escape authorities after a high-speed pursuit Thursday was arrested by Morgantown Police later that night after walking out of a hospital.

Jason Bernard, 44, was arrested late Thursday night on outstanding warrants from the Vienna Police and Wood County Sheriff’s departments, Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston said Friday morning.

Bernard had been taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown from Camden Clark Medical Center after he sustained a facial injury when officers apprehended him in the kitchen of Gran Ranchero Mexican Restaurant on Ohio Avenue in Parkersburg Thursday afternoon. Bernard was a passenger in a reportedly stolen car that Vienna Police say fled when an officer tried to pull it over in the Grand Central Mall parking lot.

After a pursuit exceeding speeds of 80 mph that ended after two collisions with Vienna Police cruisers in Parkersburg, Bernard exited the car and ran inside the restaurant, police said.

Security at Ruby Memorial reported Bernard had left the hospital at 11:13 p.m., Preston said.

“He was wearing a gown and sheet when he left,” the chief said.

Morgantown officers caught up to Bernard on Elmer Prince Drive, a road leading away from the hospital, Preston said. Bernard was arrested without incident.

Bernard faces misdemeanor charges of fleeing on foot and obstructing from Vienna Police. He was also wanted on a capias warrant, apparently related to his indictment in August on two counts each of delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit delivery of a controlled substance.

As of Friday afternoon, Bernard was in custody at the North Central Regional Jail in Doddridge County. Bond had not been set.

The driver of the car in the Thursday pursuit, Derick Layne Walker, 32, of Washington, W.Va., is also in custody at the regional jail on a $25,000 bond.

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