MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A man has been charged after police tried to conduct a traffic stop, that resulted in a low-speed chase.
On October 23, an officer with the Morgantown Police Department was conducting a security check of North High Street, in the area of Prospect Street. A Subaru Legacy failed to come to a stop at that intersection and nearly struck the officer’s patrol vehicle, according to complaint. A traffic stop was then conducted.
According to the criminal complaint, when the officer approached the vehicle and asked for the driver’s information, he was argumentative and refused to provide any information. The driver then shifted his vehicle into gear. The officer grabbed the window and ordered the driver to stop, but he accelerated and fled the scene, traveling against traffic on North Spruce Street, deputies said.
Another officer, of the Morgantown Police Department, was already in route to the traffic stop when they observed the vehicle turning from North Spruce Street onto Willey Street. At this time the officer activated their emergency lights and siren, in an attempt to stop the fleeing vehicle, the complaint states.
The vehicle continued up Willey Street and passed a stopped school bus, that was actively dropping off young children. As the vehicle was passing the school bus, multiple children had to jump out of its path, according to complaint.
With assistance from the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department, officers of the Morgantown Police Department pursued the vehicle until they were able to box it in on Locust Avenue, deputies said.
The suspect was identified as Stephen Thomas Cox., a 26-year-old resident of the Morgantown area. Cox was charged with fleeing in a vehicle with reckless disregard for the safety of others, improper passing, driving against traffic, driving left of center, failure to yield, failure to stop for a school bus, prohibited use of a cell phone, reckless driving and driving on a suspended license. He also had an outstanding capias through Monongalia County for burglary, according to criminal complaint.
Cox is being held in the North Central Regional Jail with bail set at $10,000.