One man is behind bars and another remains on the loose following a high-speed chase through north Buckhannon Monday night.
William S. Cochran, of 243 Foxmill Drive, Buckhannon, was arrested for fleeing from police, no vehicle, a misdemeanor, after he climbed out of a vehicle and ran away from officers during an incident that took place just after 6 p.m., according to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk's office.
Trooper T.A. Menendez with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police was on routine traffic patrol when he witnessed a green Jeep being driven by Jonathan Cochran turn from the Vicksburg Road onto Upper Drive. Menendez said William Cochran was sitting in the passenger seat of the Jeep and neither he nor Jonathan Cochran, the driver, were wearing seatbelts.
"I was going to cite them for a seatbelt violation, which is basically a $25 fine," Menendez said Tuesday. "But they went around Upper Drive and came out at the same point, turned left on Vicksburg Road and then made an immediate left on Route 151."
The Jeep continued north up Florida Street, at which point Cpl. Mark Stewart with the Buckhannon Police Department and Cpl. Theron Caynor with the Upshur County Sheriff's Office joined in the pursuit, activating their lights and sirens.
"From Florida Street, they turned right on Cleveland Avenue, blowing all the stop signs as you might imagine," Menendez said. The Jeep turned left on Fifth Street and then crossed U.S. Route 33, traveling up Weatherford Boulevard before turning left onto the Hall Road until it reached Industrial Park Road.
"When they got about halfway across Industrial Road, they turned onto a private drive," Menendez said. "At that point, I had to bow out and let (Stewart and Caynor) take over the chase because their vehicles' capability for traveling off-road is greater."
Eventually, the vehicle stopped and both William Cochran and Jonathan Cochran exited the Jeep and ran away from Stewart as he approached them, Caynor, the investigating officer, wrote in the complaint.
Some time afterward, Stewart apprehended William Cochran in a field; however, officers were not able to catch Jonathan Cochran, and he remained at large as of presstime, a spokeswoman with the Upshur County Sheriff's Office said.
Magistrate Mike Coffman set William Cochran's bond at $25,000 surety, and he remained in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail as of presstime.
The penalty for fleeing from an officer, no vehicle, is a fine between $50 and $500, confinement in a regional jail for up to one year or both.