By RACHEL C. DOVE
WILLIAMSON - A man who was in the custody of the Williamson Police Department following a magistrate court hearing in which his bond was revoked escaped for a few, short moments and led Patrolman Jeff Taylor on a foot chase that spanned several city blocks.
Jerry Fields, 24, of Valley View in Williamson, had appeared before Mingo Magistrate Dallas Toler Thursday morning to be arraigned on an additional charge of battery, and to also have a preliminary hearing on former charges of 8 felony counts consisting of 4 counts of forgery and 4 counts of identity theft.
A plea agreement could not be reached between the defendant’s attorney and the prosecutor, and Fields elected to waive his rights to a trial in magistrate court and instead, waived it to the grand jury. After he was arraigned on the battery charge, the defendant was informed that his original bond was being revoked and he would be remanded to jail.
This idea did not set well with Fields, and he instead, chose to take his chances with escaping custody, even though he was handcuffed at the time.
According to information provided by Williamson Police Chief C.D. Rockel, the defendant ran through the back alley between 2nd and 3rd Avenues and was eventually caught on Pike Street , across from the WV Department of Health and Human Resources. Chief Rockel and Patrolman Darry Paige assisted Taylor with the capture, and also credit a good Samaritan who stepped in to help the officer.
When asked by the Daily News why he ran, Fields stated “I’m facing 25 years in jail…I didn’t have anything to lose.”
Fields was transported, once again, back to magistrate court and was arraigned by Toler on 1 count of escaping custody, a felony.
Chief Rockel commented on the escape and said that sooner or later, it’s something that every police officer will deal with during their career.
“I commend Patrolman Taylor for his quick thinking and for taking the defendant back into custody in a very short period of time,” said the chief. “They’ll surprise you sometimes and try to make a break for it. The important thing is that Fields’ attempts were in vain and he’s back in jail.”
Fields was transported to the Southwestern Regional Jail at Holden where he is held without bond, pending his first appearance in Mingo County Circuit Court.