UPDATE: Elkins Police release information on arrest of man accused of striking police vehicles, aiming gun at officers


UPDATE 2/1/21 1:04 p.m.)

ELKINS, W.Va. – The Elkins Police Department has released additional information on the arrest of a man who is accused of striking two police vehicles and pointing his gun at officers during an incident last week.

James Arbogast

A criminal complaint filed by the Elkins Police Department stated that officers received the BOLO for Jame Arbogast, 52, of Elkins in reference to him being suicidal and leaving notes of suicide at the Walmart in Buckhannon.

After locating the vehicle Arbogast was said to be driving at the time on Livingston Avenue in Elkins, Arbogast was seen leaving a residence on the same street. Officers said Arbogast refused officers’ commands to not get in his vehicle, and proceeded to get in his vehicle and flee. According to the complaint, Arbogast began “showing reckless indifference to others on the roadway,” and ignored officers’ attempts to conduct a traffic stop.

Police said they attempted to box Arbogast in at an intersection and one officer exited his vehicle and withdrew his pistol due to knowledge that Arbogast had a prior wanton endangerment charge and ordered him to exit the vehicle. The complaint stated that Arbogast struck the officer’s vehicle, and when the officer approached Arbogast’s vehicle, he “produced an all-black in color handgun appearing to be real until further inspection,” out of the vehicle and pointed it at two of the officers.

One officer immediately grabbed the gun and managed to pull it away from Arbogast and then attempted to remove him from the vehicle, according to the complaint. Police said the attempt was unsuccessful, and Arbogast began giving the vehicle gas in an attempt to run an officer over and struck a second Elkins Police vehicle. Arbogast then continued to refuse to be pulled out of his vehicle, resulting in police using tasers and baton strikes to detain him.

Police said when Arbogast was removed from the vehicle, he appeared to have a laceration on the back of his head and EMS was requested for his injuries.

Officers said that “the smell of an alcoholic beverage was overpowering from the vehicle and from Arbogast’s person.” According to the complaint, a search warrant was then obtained for the medical records of Arbogast for the suspicion of DUI. Police said that his records indicated that he was under the influence of cannabis and had a blood alcohol level of .154

Arbogast has been charged with wanton endangerment involving a firearm, according to court documents.

ORIGINAL (1/28/21 4:27 p.m.)

ELKINS, W.Va. – The Elkins Police Department took a man into custody after a welfare check turned into a vehicle chase.

According to a statement from Chief Travis C. Bennett, at approximately 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Elkins officers attempted to perform a welfare check on a man in the vicinity of Livingston Avenue.

A BOLO (be on the lookout) alert issued by Upshur County law enforcement had advised that someone matching this man’s description had threatened suicide in the Buckhannon area and that his current whereabouts were unknown, according to Bennett.

When approached by officers, the man attempted to get away in a vehicle, driving in a reckless manner and damaging two EPD cruisers before being stopped near T-Mart on Davis Avenue, Bennett said. As officers attempted to get the man out of his vehicle, he pulled out a handgun, which he pointed at one officer.

Bennett said officers used a TASER and baton strikes to subdue the man. After being restrained, the man was transported by Randolph County EMS to Davis Medical Center for evaluation.

One EPD officer received minor injuries to his hand, according to Bennett. There is no word on the man’s name or what charges he could face in the incident.

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