2 men are busted following police chase in Fayette County - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

2 men are busted following police chase in Fayette County

Ralph Hamrick Ralph Hamrick
James Hamrick James Hamrick

FAYETTE COUNTY (WVVA) Two men are arrested in Fayette County Thursday afternoon following a police pursuit.

According to Sheriff Steve Kessler, a deputy recognized the driver of a Ford Mustang in the Meadow Bridge area for having an outstanding warrant for domestic assault. The passenger was wanted in Greenbrier County. 

When the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver took off on Route 20 towards Rainelle.  The driver sped up Pittimee Mountain and continued on a "strip road" before  eventually getting his car stuck in the mud. The two men refused to get out of the car until the deputy deployed his K-9. Then the suspects surrendered. Kessler says the pursuit lasted more than an hour. 

The driver, Ralph Edward Hamrick, 46, of Meadow Bridge is charged with fleeing in a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, third offense DUI, and driving with a revoked license for DUI. He also had an outstanding warrant for domestic assault.

The passenger, James B. Hamrick, 44, of Meadow Bridge was taken to jail for a warrant out of Greenbrier County.

"This was incredibly reckless behavior." says Sheriff Steve Kessler. "This individual endangered the life of his passenger, endangered the lives of other motorists and endangered the lives of Sergeant Mooney and Deputy Callison through his decision to flee at high speeds and over rough terrain, merely to avoid arrest for a relatively minor offense. When he was finally forced to stop he refused to comply with Sergeant Mooney's and Deputy Callison's commands to get out of the vehicle. The presence of Sergeant Mooney's K-9 at the scene, however, enabled these Deputies to make these arrests safely and without the need to use a higher level of force. Once again we are grateful for the significant support of our K-9 Unit by the citizens of Fayette County and our surrounding counties," says Kessler.

Both men are currently being held in Southern Regional Jail.

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