MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A Morgantown man has been arrested after deputies said he led them on a chase through Monongalia and Preston counties in a stolen car.
On June 18, deputies with the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office were alerted to reports of a stolen vehicle. According to a criminal complaint, the vehicle owner told deputies that a red 2005 Mazda 6 was stolen from his driveway at Independence Hill Village on Van Voorhis Road.
Deputies also explained that the owner of the vehicle stated he noticed his keys were missing from his home earlier in the day. He stated that five minutes before contacting the sheriff’s office, he heard a car horn outside, and when he looked out his window, his vehicle was gone, according to court documents.
The car owner described to deputies that he bought the vehicle a week prior from someone in Pennsylvania for $2,000. He had not registered the car yet and said all documentation was still in the car, deputies explained.
After hearing from the owner, deputies issued a BOLO (be on the lookout) for the vehicle and went to a suspected address where the owner thought the car would be heading. While one deputy was en route to the address, another deputy noticed a car matching the description pass them at the intersection of Gladesville and Grafton roads and travel on to Halleck Road.
A deputy activated the emergency lights and siren and tried to pursue the vehicle in an attempt to stop it. The driver of the vehicle, later identified as John P. Foster IV, 44, of Morgantown, ignored the deputy’s attempt to stop him and fled at a high speed, the complaint states.
Deputies said Foster was speeding past other vehicles on a double yellow line, traveling in the opposing lane and displaying total disregard for the safety of the public.
The deputy stated that he lost the vehicle near Toms Run Road and stopped the pursuit. However, 15 minutes later, the deputy noticed that the same vehicle passed him while he was waiting at the intersection of Halleck and Smithtown roads, almost hitting his cruiser.
After reactivating his emergency lights and siren, the deputy started to pursue Foster. However, this time he was joined by several other deputies and state troopers.
When the pursuit crossed into Preston County, a deputy with the Preston County Sheriff’s Department parked at the intersection of Gladesville and Fields Creek Roads. Once the vehicle and Monongalia County deputies passed his location, the deputy then followed behind.
The chase continued along Gladesville Road and turned onto Independence Road, the complaint states. The vehicle reached speeds of 70 mph in a 35 mph zone while also traveling into the opposing lane and running several stop signs, with no regard to anyone’s safety, according to court documents.
After several miles, the pursuit ended in an area of May Road in Preston County when Foster wrecked down into an embankment, according to court documents.
Monongalia County K-9 units located Foster outside the vehicle lying in the woods, according to the complaint.
Foster has been charged with two counts of fleeing with reckless disregard. He is currently being held in Tygart Valley Regional Jail, with bail set at $255,000.