DELBARTON - A Delbarton resident found himself charges with alleged crimes that he could have avoided if he would have complied with a traffic stop by a West Virginia State Trooper (WVSP) instead of choosing to flee.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Mingo County Magistrate Court by WVSP Senior Trooper J.D. Matheny, Stephen Rufus Varney, age 34, proceeded to flee from Trooper D.M. Williamson on an ATV during a traffic stop in Delbarton. During this incident, the defendant allegedly intentionally swerved the ATV towards Trooper Williamson, striking him in the leg, and dragging the officer along the highway for a short distance before he was able to free himself.
WVSP Sgt. J.C. Dotson told the Daily News that Trooper Williamson suffered an injury to his knee (a deep gouging wound), along with multiple scrapes and skin abrasions that were a result of being drug along the roadway. The trooper was placed off duty for a period of 3-4 days to allow time for his injuries to heal, returning to work on Tuesday of this week.
Varney was charged with malicious assault on an officer and fleeing with reckless indifference. He was arraigned before Mingo County Magistrate Pam Newsome who set bond on the two offenses at $50,000. He was remanded to the custody of the Southwestern Regional Jail at Holden, where he remains at present time. The defendant is scheduled to appear in Magistrate Court next week for a preliminary hearing on this matter.