Two men arrested after pursuit in Vienna, Parkersburg
PARKERSBURG — A vehicle pursuit that started in the Grand Central Mall parking lot Thursday afternoon ended abruptly outside a Parkersburg restaurant.
A 2011 Chevrolet Malibu, reported stolen out of Parkersburg on Sunday, collided with a Vienna Police cruiser near the exit of Gran Ranchero Mexican Restaurant on Ohio Avenue, according to a release from the Vienna Police Department. A passenger fled into the restaurant but was quickly apprehended, police said.
The driver of the car, Derick Layne Walker, 32, of Washington, W.Va., is charged with felony counts of fleeing in a vehicle with reckless indifference and receiving/transferring a stolen vehicle, as well as two outstanding felony charges of fraudulent use of an access device from unrelated incidents, the release says.
The passenger, Jason Bernard, 44, of Parkersburg, will be charged with misdemeanor counts of fleeing on foot and obstructing, Vienna Police Chief Mike Pifer said. At the scene, Bernard’s face was bloody from an injury Pifer said the suspect sustained when he was tackled in the Gran Ranchero kitchen after running through a door an employee exited.
The incident began around 12:30 p.m. Thursday, when Vienna Police were dispatched to the mall parking lot after a friend of the Malibu’s owner reported seeing what he believed to be the stolen car, the release says.
“When I attempted to stop it, the vehicle fled, went south on Grand Central,” Vienna Police Sgt. Robert Pifer said.
Officers pursued the vehicle along Grand Central and into Parkersburg, where the road becomes Murdoch Avenue.
“We were going in excess of probably 80 miles an hour,” Sgt. Pifer said.
The officer said he slowed as they approached the curve of Ohio Avenue passing Bob Evans and the Park Shopping Center but the Malibu did not. It spun out in the roadway and a Vienna cruiser was unable to avoid striking it, the release says.
Vincent, Ohio, resident Marilin Garner was eating at the nearby KFC as the pursuit came to an end.
“Then he hit it in reverse and he spun it around” trying to get away, she said. “He didn’t make it. The other cop hit him.”
Chief Pifer said that second collision was in part an effort to stop the suspects from getting away. The Malibu was sideways in the road when one cruiser hit the back of it. The cruiser from the first collision came up against the front “in order to prevent him from fleeing again,” the chief said.
Both suspects were taken to Camden Clark Medical Center for treatment, which Walker ultimately declined. He was arraigned in Wood County Magistrate Court, with bond set at $25,000.
Bernard was transferred to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown because of an injury to his face, Chief Pifer said. Local authorities will ask that Morgantown can pick him up upon his release, the chief said.
Parkersburg Police responded to the scene as well, but Chief Joe Martin said Vienna will handle the investigation of the incident. However, Parkersburg will do its own investigation into the theft of the car and any other stolen items found within it.
Parkersburg Police Lt. Greg Collins said the Ohio license plates on the car did not belong on it.