Mercer County Sheriff

Jan. 13

ALLEGED ROBBERY AT GUNPOINT: Deputy M.C. Altice responded to a complaint at CVS Pharmacy parking lot of Princeton of a robbery at gunpoint. The caller informed Mercer 911 that the complainant said they were robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot while waiting for friends. Reportedly the victims were robbed of their phones, wallets, shoes, and other items from the vehicle. Altice observed that the snow in the parking lot surrounding the vehicle was undisturbed aside from the victim’s own tire marks. The officer asked the victims if the suspects were on foot or were in a vehicle, to which they responded they were robbed at East View Apartments. The driver, identified as Justin Hopper, and the passenger, identified as Zachary Ruble, told the officer that they were at the apartments visiting two females. The females reportedly left unannounced and five unknown males entered the home wearing ski goggles and ski masks brandishing AK47 rifles. Hopper was asked if the suspects had robbed them of their possessions, only to return their car keys, to which Hopper said yes. No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing at this time.

Jan. 14

FAILURE TO APPEAR: Officer S.J. Cary arrested David L. Harris for an outstanding warrant issued by Susan Honaker. Harris was wanted for failure to appear for a misdemeanor charge.

FAILURE TO APPEAR: Lt. J.J. Ruble arrested James Curtis Thompson for a failure to appear warrant out of magistrate court. Thompson was wanted for failure to appear for a misdemeanor charge.

FUGITIVE FROM JUSTICE: Deputy D. Calloway and Deputy Mason were alerted to a warrant check. It was reported that Nathan Delimit, wanted for writing worthless checks, was staying in Princeton. Upon arrival, officers met with the suspect and he went into custody without incident.

Jan. 15

2ND OFFENSE SHOPLIFTING, FAILURE TO APPEAR, FUGITIVE FROM JUSTICE: Officers D. Sparks and Cpl. Ellison responded to Walmart of Princeton following a shoplifting complaint. Upon response, officers were informed that the suspect was wanted in Va. for shoplifting $29.80 worth of items. The suspect was arrested and charged with second offense shoplifting, failure to appear, and a fugitive from justice.

WRONGFULLY HOUSING AN INCAPACITATED ADULT: Lt. J.J. Ruble received a complaint of an incapacitated adult who was legally incapacitated through the Michigan court system, and had been staying in W.Va. since September 2018. The victim was allegedly refusing to go home. The investigation is ongoing.

WANTED FOR SHOP- LIFTING: Deputy J. Bish responded to a shoplifting complaint at Walmart of Princeton. Two suspects were suspected of shoplifting. The suspects were followed and confronted by Walmart staff. The first subject dropped a bag full of merchandise in the parking lot with the total price of the items amounting to $98.36. Upon viewing surveillance footage, Bish identified the first subject as Shawna Leann Dunn from previous incidents. Dunn is wanted for shoplifting and the second suspect is unknown at this time.

SIMPLE POSSESSION: Deputy J. Bish was patrolling Princeton when he observed a gold Ford Taurus swerving in and out of the lane. After pulling the vehicle over, Bish saw that there were six occupants in the vehicle and there was a strong smell of marijuana. The passenger, identified as Austin Cheatwood, admitted that he was in possession of marijuana. Cheatwood was given a citation for simple possession and the substance was confiscated for evidence. Cheatwood and the other occupants were released.

Jan. 16

WANTED FOR SHOP-LIFTING: Officer Z.T. Reed was called out by a complainant to Mercer Mall for alleged shoplifting. The manager of GameStop reported that they were showing a customer several products including a Playstation 4 Core, a pair of Astro A10 headphones, and a Playstation 4 Dual Shock crystal controller. When asked to retrieve a game for the customer, the manager turned his back, and the suspect grabbed the merchandise and ran out the door. The suspect is unknown and the investigation is ongoing.

REPORTING A FALSE EMERGENCY, OBSTRUCTING A POLICE OFFICER, PUBLIC INTOXI-CATION: Deputy M.C. Altice and Sgt. Rose were alerted of an alleged robbery in Princeton. Mercer 911 informed the officers that the caller had reported the same incident for the past three nights. Officers arrived at the residence and were met by the caller, Howard Keith Bailey, who was pacing back and forth in his home. Bailey informed police that four people were trying to kill him. He then pointed out the window and showed officers the suspect’s footprints in the snow. Bailey was the only one who could see the footprints, as officers reported no footprints. Officers tried to calm Bailey who was growing louder and more frantic. He attempted to leave the officers, while continually growing louder. Upon officers trying to restrain him he continually pulled away. Officers had to forcibly put him into the back of the police car due to him thrashing and resisting. While transporting Bailey, the officer reported him screaming and telling officers that he could see the suspects chasing the vehicle. Bailey was charged with reporting a false emergency, obstructing a police officer, and public intoxication.

Jan. 17

FLEEING FROM AN OFFICER ON FOOT, OBSTRUCTING AN OFFICER: Deputy M.T. Hatfield was notified of a possible domestic happening in Princeton. Deputy M.C. Altice and Sgt. W.E. Rose were on scene with Hatfield as well. Officers observed footprints in the snow leading away from the residence to which they followed. As they followed the footprints, they heard a male voice say, “Are you looking for someone?” after replying yes they were told, “He ran this way, my friend is chasing him!” They were informed that the suspect ran through Princeton park toward the hospital. Hatfield followed the trail on foot, having to jump over a creek and climb a hill onto Morrison Drive. Hatfield observed a suspect crouching behind a vehicle in the hospital parking lot. After being told to turn around and raise his hands the suspect fled the scene. Hatfield pursued the suspect on foot and had to forcibly restrain him as the suspect was resisting. The suspect, Karl Frank Hale, was charged with fleeing from an officer on foot and obstructing an officer.