RACHEL C. DOVE
HAMPDEN - A Brenton man was arrested after allegedly committing domestic battery against his ex-girlfriend and also endangering the life of their 9-month-old daughter.
According to the criminal complaint filed by Mingo County Sheriff’s Deputy B. Moore, he was dispatched to the community of Hampden, located near the Town of Gilbert, after an emergency call was placed to Mingo County 911.
Upon arrival, Moore spoke with the victim, Brandi Blankenship, who alleged that Johnny Riffe, Jr., 21, her ex-boyfriend and father of her young daughter, had struck her in the face with a flashlight causing a laceration and bruising under the left eye.
Blankenship further alleged that when she attempted to flee from the location with her daughter, Riffe followed behind her vehicle in a Ford Focus until he managed to pass her, and began at that time to drive erratically. The defendant reportedly slammed on his brakes in an attempt to cause the victim to strike his vehicle, and pulled the Focus crossways on the roadway to block her from going any further.
Blankenship feared for the safety of herself and her young child.
Riffe was placed under arrest on charges of domestic battery and child abuse creating risk of injury. He was arraigned by Mingo Magistrate Pamela Newsome, who set the defendant’s bail at $10,000. Riffe was transported to the Southwestern Regional Jail at Holden, and was later released after meeting his bond requirements.
In an unrelated incident, Deputy M.J. Miller responded to a single vehicle accident on U.S. Rt. 52 on Buffalo Mountain where the driver of a 1995 Toyota Tacoma alleged he had lost control of the vehicle.
After approaching the driver, Robert Joseph Roer, 28, of Wilmington, N.C., Miller detected a strong alcohol odor on his breath and person. The deputy proceeded to administer a three-part field sobriety test to the defendant, which he was unable to satisfactory complete.
Upon further investigation, Miller found that Roer had two male passengers in his vehicle at the time of the accident. STAT Ambulance transported one of those passengers, David Evans, address unknown, to the Williamson Memorial Hospital where he was treated for injuries sustained during the wreck. The other male, who was a relative of the driver, also suffered a laceration to his arm but refused medical treatment.
Roer agreed to an alcohol breathalyzer test which produced a reading of .188, well over the legal limit of .080. He was placed under arrest and was charged with DUI causing injury, failure to maintain control of vehicle and no proof of insurance.
Roer was arraigned before Mingo Magistrate Dee Sidebottom and was issued a $2,300 bail. He is now free on bond, pending his upcoming court appearance.