BENWOOD, W.Va. (WTRF) — A fire chief from Benwood, Marshall County, was arrested on Monday after a standoff with police.
Garson Taylor, 32, is being charged with domestic battery, fleeing in a vehicle, and obstruction of an officer, all misdemeanors.
According to Police Chief Frank Longwell, Taylor’s wife was found with a bloody face and choke marks on her neck.
Police say while officers were investigating, Taylor reportedly drove by, refused to stop at the officer’s command, and led them on a chase “several laps around the city.”
When he went to the 4th Street pull-off, officers say they blocked him in.
Police say Taylor held a pistol to his own head and negotiations lasted about an hour until one officer was able to quickly force the driver’s side door of his Dodge Ram truck open and pull him out.
Chief Longwell said Taylor was wearing a Kevlar vest and Kevlar helmet, and he had “several AR rifles and 800 rounds of ammunition” with him.
Police say the standoff lasted over 60 minutes.
At Taylor’s house, police say they found and confiscated many more weapons.
Taylor is currently lodged in the WV Northern Regional Jail, but is now under a mental hygiene order, which will require that he be transported to a state mental health facility for evaluation.
Taylor is now under a domestic battery protection order, that forbids him to contact his wife and forbids him to have access to any weapons.
Chief Longwell said Taylor was not only the Benwood fire chief but was also employed by the city as a laborer for at least a decade.
Longwell said the Benwood fire department is an independent entity and not under city jurisdiction and that the fire department will have to decide if they will keep Taylor as the fire chief.
As far as his job as a laborer with the city, Longwell said “he would have to be mentally and criminally cleared before he could go back to work.”