PENNSBORO -Two recently-released inmates from the North Central Regional Jail were back in lockup in a matter of hours after stealing a vehicle from the parking lot and crashing it into a police cruiser.
Ritchie and Doddridge County Sheriff's Department officers collaborated on a stolen vehicle complaint Wednesday evening, according to the Ritchie County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.
Law enforcement officials said two inmates - a male and female - were released from the North Central Regional Jail in Doddridge County Wednesday evening. The two allegedly stole a vehicle from the jail parking lot.
Photo courtesy of the Ritchie County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page
Damage to the Ritchie County Sheriff’s Department Dodge Durango after it was “t-boned” by a pair of recently released inmates who allegedly stole a car from a jail parking lot and were fleeing law enforcement officials.
The stolen vehicle was located in Pennsboro and the suspects crashed into Ritchie County Sheriff's Deputy Jim Asbury on Myles Avenue, Sheriff Bryan Backus stated on the department's Facebook page.
Ritchie County Prosecuting Attorney Judi McCullough said the officer and his canine unit, Benji, were allegedly "t-boned" by the two.
"They did just get released from jail, and took a car from the parking lot and were fleeing," she said.
The incident happened around 6 p.m.
The male was identified as Michael Lee Sharp, 21. Sharp was booked back in the jail and charged with fleeing with injury, reckless driving and failure to obey traffic control signals around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday. His bail was set at $11,500 in Ritchie County Magistrate Court.
The female was not yet identified as of press time.
"For those that are aware of the situation the suspects in the stolen vehicle crashed into Deputy Asbury and as a result he has been transported to the hospital," Backus stated. Asbury was taken to Camden Clark Medical Center. Backus said both Asbury and his canine will be checked out. He said all involved are expected to make a safe recovery, officials said.
Backus added he couldn't provide any further information.
McCullough said Asbury was driving the department's Dodge Durango and seemed to be in fair condition - suffering a headache and sore - considering the wreck.
McCullough said the suspects were also taken to the hospital to be medically cleared before making the return trip to the jail. Law enforcement officials said neither of the suspects appeared to be seriously injured as a result of the incident.
A deputy at the Doddridge County Sheriff's office said Deputy C. Garner was the arresting officer on the Doddridge County end of the case. The pair will face charges in Doddridge County related to the theft of the vehicle, in addition to charges in Ritchie County.
Communications for the West Virginia State Police in Parkersburg said Trooper J.L. Brewer, with the Harrisville detachment, is investigating the incident.