Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 9, 2013

Attempted murder charge

Mercer man allegedly steals truck, tries to run down trooper

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

SPANISHBURG — A Mercer County man is facing an attempted murder charge after allegedly stealing a truck and attempting to hit a state police trooper with the vehicle.

Richard Anthony Hart, 46, of Matoaka was arraigned Tuesday before Magistrate Rick Fowler. He is also charged with grand larceny and obstructing.

Sgt. D.W. Miller, with the West Virginia State Police Princeton detachment, said the incident occurred around 8 p.m. Monday night when officers received a report of a stolen vehicle in the Spanish-burg area.

“Cpl. P.H. Shrews-bury was in Lashmeet and cut across Rich Creek Road,” Miller said. “He encountered the vehicle and the suspect standing outside of it. He knew the man and called him by name. The man jumped in the vehicle and swerved at him and tried to hit him.”

Miller said Shrewsbury fired shots at the vehicle. “He fired at the truck. No one was hit. There were no injuries to Shrewsbury or the suspect.”

Shrewsbury got back in his vehicle to pursue the suspect, Miller said. However, the suspect had already wrecked about a mile up the road.

“He kind of went up on a steep embankment and rolled it over on the driver’s side,” Miller said. “He climbed out of the passenger side and was laying under the truck, between the truck and embankment, when Shrewsbury got there.”

Hart was arrested by Shrewsbury without incident.

The truck, a Ford Ranger, was stolen from the Spanishburg area.

Hart is currently incarcerated at Southern Regional Jail on a $50,000 cash-only bond.

Miller said Hart is a previously convicted felon.