Mannington man charged after 2nd police chase in less than a month, police say

Crime

MANNINGTON, W.Va. — A Mannington man has been charged after his second police chase in less than a month, according to officers.

On Dec. 5, officers with the Mannington Police Department received of complaint of two ATVs racing, and were reported to have pulled into a driveway at a residence on Laurel Dr., according to a criminal complaint.

Austin Gump

When officers arrived, they found a red ATV known to belong to Austin Gump, 23, of Mannington, parked in the driveway, along with a yellow ATV; two males, one who was identified as Gump, were also standing on the porch, officers said.

Even though the police did not see the ATVs on the roadway that day, they did receive footage from a school bus that showed Gump riding the red ATV in the road from earlier, according to the complaint.

The next day, officers saw Gump’s red ATV parked at on Meadow Ave., and they parked their police cruiser near the area to observe traffic in the area, officers said. After a few minutes, officers saw Gump get onto the ATV and drive onto Laurel Drive, but the vehicle did not have a required ATV permit attached to it, according to the complaint.

Officers caught up to the ATV on Laurel Dr., where they activated their emergency lights, but when Gump saw officers behind him, he began to accelerate out of Laurel Drive and onto Flaggy Meadow Road, officers said.

Gump’s ATV reached speeds of more than 60 miles per hour, and officers activated their cruiser’s siren as they turned onto Round Barn Road, with the “rapidly accelerated” ATV fishtailing due to its speed, according to the complaint.

The pursuit continued onto Cellular Drive, a “pothole ridden gravel road” which caused “the ATV to fishtail constantly,” and upon cresting the hill of the road, Gump did a “180 degree turn” to the left, officers said.

Gump “looked right at” the police officers as he began to rapidly accelerate toward their cruiser, even though the officers tried to block his path with their vehicle but stopped when Gump showed no signs of stopping because they didn’t want Gump to “strike [the] vehicle causing possible harm to him,” according to the complaint.

As Gump passed the police cruiser, the officers positively identified him, then turned to continue pursuit back down Cellular Drive, officers said. Officers observed a mail carrier on Round Barn Road whose vehicle partially blocked the road’s entrance from Cellular Drive, according to the complaint.

Officers said Gump did not slow down or show signs of stopping as he came “extremely close” to striking the vehicle, continuing his acceleration on Flaggy Meadow Road until he reached “an extremely dangerous speed.” When officers reached Meadow Avenue, they ended the pursuit for the safety of Gump and the others on the road, according to the complaint.

Gump is charged with fleeing with reckless indifference. He is being held in North Central Regional Jail on $100,012 bond.

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