WEBSTER SPRINGS, W.Va. — A man is in custody for allegedly kidnapping a woman from Huntington and forcing her to come to his mother’s house in Webster County, troopers said.
On May 22, troopers with the West Virginia State Police received a call in reference to a domestic altercation in a mobile vehicle traveling toward Pleasant Ridge Road in Webster Springs, according to a criminal complaint.
On the call, the female screamed that she needed help and said that she was being assaulted and she said the name “Will” during the call, and troopers were able to obtain a description of the vehicle, according to troopers.
While on Excelsior Pleasant Ridge Road, troopers made contact with a brown car stopped in the middle of the roadway, and while speaking with the vehicle’s occupants, troopers observed a black Dodge Ram travel toward the police cruiser, turn around in a driveway and drive off in the opposite direction, according to the complaint.
When observing the truck, troopers then noticed a male “in bright reflective clothing,” and a woman “waving her arm out the passenger window,” troopers said, and then troopers activated their cruiser’s emergency lights and siren.
The truck “accelerated up the hill and struck a Ford pickup backing out of a private driveway,” which troopers later observed had damage to its rear bumper, according to the complaint.
Troopers then attempted to catch up with the Ram, as it was “travelling at an extremely high, unsafe rate of speed across Excelsior Pleasant Ridge Road,” which the troopers noted is “narrow with multiple curves,” and the Ram passed a vehicle and also ran a stop sign as it traveled to W.Va. Rt. 20, troopers said.
Later, troopers lost sight of the Ram near Bolair toward Webster Springs, at which point the troopers worked with other agencies throughout the night to attempt to locate the Ram, as well as re
quested phone location pings from the female victim’s cell phone, according to the criminal complaint.
Troopers later learned that the Ram was being driven by William Bragg, 41, of Craigsville, and also reviewed the audio recording of the female victim’s call to 911, wherein they heard the victim say “Help I’m hurt” and “Will please,” and then heard a male voice presumed to be Bragg’s say “Get up there and sit down,” “Shouldn’t have called them[the police],” “Sit the f*** up,” “If I go to jail I’m killing you” and “I’ll kill your b**** ass, you f***** up,” troopers said.
Troopers also noted that there were “audible signs of struggle and assault” in the recording.
On May 23, troopers requested a location ping for the phone used to contact 911 on the previous day, which allowed troopers to locate the black Dodge Ram at a residence on Coon Creek Road where officers made contact with Bragg and asked about the victim’s location, according to the complaint.
Bragg told troopers that he had “dropped her off at a wide spot near the WVSP Webster detachment” on the previous evening, and troopers were also able to observe front-end damage on the Ram consistent with the damage to the truck it had allegedly hit the night before, troopers said.
Troopers were able to speak with the victim over the phone, and they took a digitally recorded statement over the phone where she told troopers that Bragg had picked her up in Huntington and she had been “held against her will” … “for four days,” and that he said he was going to “beat the baby out of [her],” according to the complaint.
In the statement, the victim stated that she tried to escape, but Bragg “drug her by her hair out of the hotel room via fire exit,” and the two traveled to a “strip mine” where the victim was forced to sleep in Bragg’s truck for “four days,” troopers said.
Later, Bragg drove the victim to his mother’s house in Webster County where, according to the victim, he had “hit her multiple times,” the day before she called 911 and pressed the “emergency button,” in Bragg’s truck, according to the complaint.
The victim said that Bragg had strangled her and hit her multiple times to the point where she “passed out and urinated on herself,” and that while fleeing from troopers, Bragg had hit her multiple times before dropping her off along the road, troopers said.
In photos sent by the victim, troopers were able to confirm that she had black eyes, as well as bruising and marks on her cheeks, neck and ears, according to the complaint, and that the victim had a DVP against Bragg, according to the complaint.
Bragg is charged with kidnapping, strangulation and fleeing from an officer. He is being held in Central Regional Jail on $67,232 bond.