By Chad Clem
ELKINS - An Elkins man is being held on a $100,000 cash only bond after allegedly causing a disturbance while illegally armed in Randolph County Magistrate Court, police said.
Daniel Paige Stutler, 81, of Elkins, was arrested by the Randolph County Sheriff's Office on April 8 and charged with one count of possessing a deadly weapon on court premises and one count of possession of a concealed weapon without a license, both misdemeanors.
The Randolph County Sheriff's Office was informed of a disturbance in Magistrate Court, where Stutler "attempted to confront (Magistrate George M. Riggleman) in an aggressive manner and had to be restrained by Deputy J.M. Williams," Chief Deputy B.T. Sharp wrote in an email to The Inter-Mountain.
Williams, who wrote the criminal complaint, said he was "informed that there was a man causing problems in the waiting room" in the Magistrate Court building. When Williams attempted to bring Stutler to another room in the building, he "began talking loudly and approaching Magistrate Riggleman in an aggressive matter," Williams wrote. According to the criminal complaint, Williams verbally told Stutler to stop, but he "resisted and attempted to go back toward (Riggleman)."
According to the complaint, Williams then handcuffed Stutler, escorted him to a room, searched him and found a .22 caliber pistol concealed on his belt, under his jacket. Stutler told Williams he did not have a concealed carry permit, the complaint states.
Sheriff Mark Brady told The Inter-Mountain Monday that Riggleman reported the incident, but 911 was never advised to respond. Brady said he, Sharp and Sgt. R.K. Swisher responded to the scene.
"We are reviewing protocol and making sure that the incident is reported to 911," Brady said. "No one was in danger in this instance. This individual had a gun on him that was concealed but he wasn't waving it around in the open. This was only a verbal disturbance."
Brady said the Sheriff's Office currently has one court security officer, who was on duty at the Courthouse at the time of the incident. Brady said the Randolph County Commission is currently considering hiring another officer.
"We are always looking for ways to enhance security in the Courthouse Complex," Brady said.
Randolph County Commissioner Mike Taylor told The Inter-Mountain Monday he was meeting with Brady. as well as Cindy Hart, director of the Randolph County Office of Emergency Management, to review the facts of the incident and to address security concerns.
Taylor also said there will be a follow-up meeting with Randolph County's judges, magistrates and prosecutors to further address the incident.
"The security of our county buildings and personnel, as well as the safety of the public, are of paramount importance in this matter," Taylor said. "We are meeting to see what we can do to improve the security of the Courthouse Complex."
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Contact Chad Clem by email at email@example.com.