PARKERSBURG - Parkersburg authorities were kept busy on New Year's Eve, answering over 150 calls and investigating a number of automobile accidents during the morning, afternoon and evening of 2012's final day.
Sgt. Greg Collins, with the Parkersburg Police Department, said Parkersburg police officers investigated seven vehicle crashes between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday, and were also very busy overnight answering approximately 162 calls for service between the hours of 4 p.m. Monday and 6 a.m. Tuesday on New Year's Day.
"In spite of reported heavy traffic at local bars and clubs, officers only responded to one fight call which was at a bar on Emerson Avenue. One person was arrested for driving under the influence, bringing the department's final DUI arrest number for 2012 to 191," he said.
New Year's Eve was a quiet night overall, according to other local law enforcement agencies. The Belpre Police Department reported a quiet night, especially after midnight. The Marietta Police Department also reported a "pretty uneventful" night and the Washington County Sheriff's Department had nothing to report, a dispatcher said Tuesday.
In one of the incidents reported Monday in Parkersburg, Collins said about 7 p.m. officers responded to the 1100 block of Broadway Avenue in reference to a disorderly man possibly trying to set his truck on fire. Officer B.J. Depue made contact with Gary Paul Ferrell, 54, of Big Springs, W.Va., noting him to be in acting frantically, Collins said.
Ferrell told Depue he was having a heart attack with an ambulance immediately being summoned to the scene. Ferrell allegedly became aggressive with paramedics and began to shout profanities at both medical personnel and officers, jumping out of the ambulance and attempting to leave the scene, Collins said.
Depue advised Ferrell he was under arrest for disorderly conduct, with Ferrell allegedly refusing to submit to handcuffing and attempting to pull away. Depue forcibly handcuffed Ferrell and he was transported to headquarters for processing. While at headquarters, Ferrell allegedly continued to scream profanities at officers and refused to be fingerprinted, Collins said.
Ferrell was transported to Camden Clark Medical Center for medical clearance then placed in the Wood County Holding Center to await further processing attempts and arraignment. Ferrell was charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer, Collins said.
In another incident from Monday night, Officer C.E. Morehead stopped a 2007 GMC truck in the 800 block of Seventh Street about 9 p.m. after allegedly observing it run a red light at the intersection of East and Seventh Streets, and go left of center on Seventh Street.
Upon speaking to the driver Nicholas Proscia, Morehead allegedly noted a strong smell of alcohol about Proscia's person, in addition to bloodshot eyes. Proscia, 36, of Vienna, allegedly admitted to drinking, and was allegedly further observed being unsteady while exiting his vehicle.
Collins said Proscia allegedly failed a series of field sobriety tests, and was taken into custody for DUI and transported to headquarters for processing. Proscia cooperated with officers at headquarters, allegedly testing at 0.093 on the Intoximeter. A computer check of Proscia revealed he had a previous DUI conviction in Wood County on April 12, 2008, so he was charged with second-offense DUI.
"We thank all those that celebrated responsibly last night," Collins said. "We appreciate the good work our officers have done keeping our community safe, and are very thankful they were able to make it home safe themselves. We are keeping the West Virginia State Trooper injured in St. Albans yesterday in our thoughts and prayers," he said.
According to the Associated Press in Charleston, state police were seeking a suspected shoplifter who left an off-duty trooper in critical condition after she ran him down with her car.
The trooper was attempting to nab the woman for shoplifting on Monday at the St. Albans Mall. Media reports say the officer was being treated at the intensive care unit at Charleston Area Medical Center's General Hospital.
Police described the woman as in her 30s, with medium-length, wavy brown hair. She was wearing a long-sleeved pink shirt and boots. Police say she was driving a small, dark compact car with rust along the bottom.
State police say they have a person of interest in the case. They identify her as a Charleston resident.