Monongalia County man leads police on foot chase through heavily-wooded area


Zachary Mayle

MAIDSVILLE, W.Va. – A man is in custody after he led Monongalia County Sheriff’s deputies on a foot chase through a heavily wooded area in Maidsville.

On Monday, deputies with the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched in reference to a disturbance on Wilkins Mine Road in Maidsville, according to a criminal complaint.

Zachary Mayle

The caller told deputies that Zach Mayle, 30, of Maidsville, had been banging on her door and would not leave, then showed a video showing Mayle banging on the door while holding a small child, deputies said.

Mayle had left to a residence across the street and deputies responded to that location and didn’t see anyone outside, according to the complaint. Deputies then knocked on the door to no answer, but did notice a man walk out of the residence and into a garage in front of the home, deputies said.

Deputies attempted to speak with the man, but he retreated back into the home and “appeared to be clearly avoiding” the deputies, according to the complaint. When deputies approached the door once again, a female in a wheelchair and small child met them at the door, and deputies said the child informed them that her father had just run out the back door into the woods.

Giving chase, deputies ran around the home over a large, steep hill covered in brush leading into a heavily wooded area in an attempt to locate Mayle, according to the complaint. In an attempt to lure Mayle out, deputies yelled, not expecting a response, but he did give one and then refused to comply with deputies’ commands, according to the complaint.

From the verbal exchange, deputies were able to find Mayle’s relative location and began to pursue him, and when Mayle saw deputies crest the hill, he ran off on foot, deputies said.

The brush was so thick in some areas that deputies and Mayle had to crawl at several points because the vegetation made it impossible for them to stand, according to the complaint. After the chase continued on until deputies advised Mayle that “it was going to be worse for him if (the deputies) had to come get him,” deputies said. Mayle then agreed, walked out and was handcuffed, according to the complaint.

Mayle was escorted out of the wooded area, but deputies said it was difficult due to the thick growth of the forest. When Mayle and the deputies got to the edge of a steep hill, Mayle attempted to leap off the edge while holding onto the deputy retraining him, the complaint states.

The deputy dragged him back, barely avoiding being flung over the hill, but Mayle continued to launch himself towards the cliff, and they ended up both going down the hill, according to the complaint.

Mayle resisted the deputy’s attempts to stop or slow their fall down the hill, and continued rolling both men down the hill and was “intent on injuring (the deputy) and (Mayle’s) deliberate actions and failure to comply with commands presented a safety risk,” according to the complaint.

The deputy said that several times during the fall, the wind was knocked out of him and impacts caused “significant pain.” Additional deputies assisted in bringing Mayle and the deputy restraining him to a stop, and all the deputies were able to work together to restrain Mayle and prevent him from launching further down the hill, according to the complaint.

Both Mayle and the deputy sustained numerous bruises, small cuts and abrasions from the fall, deputies said.

Mayle is charged with battery on an officer, obstructing and fleeing. He is being held in North Central Regional Jail on a $125,000 bond.

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