Mar. 13—PRINCETON — An armed Raleigh County man accused of stealing a truck was arrested Saturday morning after a police pursuit in Mercer County.
Joseph Short, 32, of Crab Orchard, is charged with DUI, fleeing while DUI, fleeing with reckless indifference, fleeing with property damage, and felon in possession of a firearm, said Sgt. A.M. Ballard, with the Mercer County Sheriff's Office.
Ballard said the incident began when the Sheriff's Department responded to a "Be On The Lookout" call for a stolen Ford F-350 traveling southbound on Interstate 77. The truck was stolen from a Sheetz store in Bradley shortly after 5 a.m.
Ballard said he saw the stolen vehicle around 6 a.m. on I-77 near the 16 mile marker. The vehicle was "weaving in the lanes of traffic" and then pulled to the shoulder.
Ballard said when he activated his blue lights the driver began to flee. Officers then learned from Mercer County 911 that the suspect was armed with a .45 caliber firearm.
"Deputies pursued the vehicle into Princeton, where Princeton Police Department assisted," Ballard said. "Short was driving erratically and reckless. He traveled across multiple lanes of traffic, weaving and swerving."
Ballard said Cpl. G.C. Paitsel was able to deploy spike strips, which impacted the front left tire of the truck.
"Short continued to flee on U.S. 460, turning onto Clover Dew Dairy Road, then to Mount Horeb, and back to U.S. Route 460," Ballard said. "Short then changed directions twice on U.S. 460 where he would suddenly cross the median. After this he traveled onto Ingleside Road, then to Main Street, where he finally ended up on Red Barn Avenue when he struck a tree and disabled the vehicle."
Ballard said several officers assisted in taking the suspect into custody.
A loaded.45 caliber long Colt revolver was found in the vehicle, Ballard said.
Ballard said charges in Raleigh County related to the stolen vehicle are pending.
The West Virginia State Police turnpike detachment assisted with the incident.
— Contact Samantha Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org.