Barbour County man charged after allegedly hitting woman in face, brandishing weapon

Crime

ELKINS, W.Va. — A Barbour County man is in custody in Elkins after hitting a woman in the face and brandishing a weapon at her, officers said.

On Jan. 23, officers with the Elkins Police Department were dispatched in reference to a female victim stating she was running from a male in the area, according to a criminal complaint.

Richard Swiger

According to the victim, she and another female were having a conversation while in their vehicle about going to the Dollar General to purchase feminine hygiene products when a male, identified as Richard Swiger, 25, of Belington, who was in the front passenger seat of the car said, “Do you always have to steal?” officers said.

When the victims were in the turning lane to go to the Dollar General, Swiger smacked one of them in the face, knocking off her glasses, then hit her once more in the face, according to the complaint.

The vehicle’s driver pulled over and she began to flee on foot from Swiger, who turned to point the gun at a victim in the backseat when she said she was going to call the cops, officers said. According to the victim who had the gun pointed at her, the firearm was a small “single shot” brown and black weapon, the complaint states.

Later, law enforcement officers found Swiger in Barbour County, and he was read his Miranda rights, which he waived, officers said. During his interview with officers, he said the incident had stemmed from “a bunch of arguing and fighting” that had happened earlier that day. When Swiger was asked to elaborate, he said he couldn’t remember.

Also, Swiger told officers he threw the gun out of the window, and when asked why he did it, he said, that the victim “was an ignorant type of person” … “it made me scared because I don’t know what she was going to tell anybody or anything,” but didn’t go into further detail on the incident or firearm, according to the criminal complaint.

Swiger is charged with wanton endangerment. He is being held in Tygart Valley Regional Jail on $75,000 bond.

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