Man charged after police chase in Parkersburg

PARKERSBURG — A man from South Dakota was charged with fleeing from police and carrying a firearm while prohibited after a car chase in Parkersburg on Sunday.

Leon Eugene Wiggins, 30, Cavour, S.D., was released on $35,000 bond posted in Wood County Magistrate Court. Court documents said Wiggins was convicted of distributing cocaine in October 2018, which led to the charge of possessing a firearm under prohibition, according to court documents.

The incident started at Seventh and Lynn streets where Officer J.W. Thrasher of the Parkersburg Police Department saw a car without a functioning registration light, a complaint filed in the Wood County Magistrate Court said. The car sped away on Lynn to Jeannette Street, going 70 mph, turned onto East Street without stopping at the stop sign, drove on East Street to Pike Street for two miles before turning right onto Blizzard Drive, the complaint said.

The driver drove west and turned right onto 10th Avenue, disregarding the stop sign at 10th and Neal streets, the complaint said. The car struck a curb near Merrick Street and blew the passenger side front tire, but the driver continued on, the complaint said.

He ran the stop sign at 10th and Pike streets and turned right onto Pike Street, proceeding for a half mile before turning right onto 16th Avenue and proceeding to Tygart Street where the South Baptist Church is located, the complaint said.

The driver cut through the church parking lot where the car struck another curb and blew the driver’s side front tire, the complaint said. The driver drove to 1624 Blizzard Drive, Peoples News, where he got out of the vehicle, but was apprehended about two blocks away where the defendant smelled of alcohol, the complaint said.

During the pursuit, a black backpack was observed being thrown from the car. The backpack was found and inside was a loaded High Point .380-caliber pistol with six rounds in the magazine, the complaint said.