PHILIPPI, W.Va. (WBOY) — A man has been charged after allegedly chasing children around his Barbour County home with a blowtorch.

On April 5, troopers with the Barbour County detachment of the West Virginia State Police received a letter from the Barbour County Prosecutor’s Office requesting they investigate potential child abuse in Philippi, according to a criminal complaint.

Jason Simons

The letter detailed a forensic interview where a 13-year-old juvenile male stated that Jason Simons, 40, of Philippi, had “chased [him] through the house with a blow torch on multiple occasions,” troopers said.

In one of those incidents, the 13-year-old hid from Simons inside of a pantry, and Simons “got a screw and screwed the door shut, and placed the blow torch through a hole in this same door,” according to the complaint.

The teen said in that same interview that Simons “would chase [him and an 8-year-old male] around the house with sharp objects,” and that Simons “does have a .22 caliber firearm in the house” … “and shoots it out of the window,” troopers said.

After learning of these incidents, troopers attempted to get into contact with Simons, to which Simons “state he did not wish to speak to [troopers],” according to the complaint.

Simons has been charged with child abuse. He is being held in Tygart Valley Regional Jail on $50,000 bond.