Wheeling Police News Updates

News

Wheeling Police News Updates

Mozart Homicide Investigation


The Wheeling Police Department is investigating a homicide that took place Friday afternoon in the Mozart area of the city.

 

Around 2 p.m., police were initially called to S. Frazier Avenue for suspicious circumstances involving a person outside who appeared distraught.

 

Police were then led to 8 S. Frazier Avenue where a female was found dead inside.

 

As additional police units arrived on scene, a man was seen on the property who then encountered officers and fled onto Frazier Avenue. A short time later, he was caught and detained. The man is now in police custody and was taken to Wheeling Hospital for medical evaluation.
 

The name of the victim is not being released at this time. 

 

Wheeling Police are being assisted by the West Virginia State Police Crime Scene Response Team. As of 5 p.m., S. Frazier Avenue remains closed to traffic.


Wheeling Police, Ohio County Prosecutors Office Provide Update in 2018 Homicide Case


WHEELING, W.Va. – The Wheeling Police Department and Ohio County Prosecutors Office announced Friday two people have been criminally charged in connection with the on-going 2018 homicide investigation of Trevor Vossen, Lauren “LuLu” Jenkins and her unborn child.

 

On Monday, Sept. 13, an Ohio County Grand Jury returned an indictment on Gerald Wayne Jako, Jr., 36 of Wheeling and Dana Marie Bowman, 33 of Wheeling on three counts of murder and two counts of concealing a deceased human body.
 
Jako currently is serving a prison sentence on unrelated charges at the Mount Olive Correctional Complex in Mount Olive, W.Va. Bowman was arrested Thursday by the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force in Wyandot County, Ohio. She currently is incarcerated at the Seneca County, Ohio Jail.

 

On June 25, Wheeling Police and the Ohio County Prosecutors office held a joint news conference to discuss details of the Aug. 13, 2018 homicide case in an effort to further the investigation. Tips generated following the news conference led to effective information, which was presented to the grand jury that convened as regularly scheduled this past Monday.

 

“This week’s indictment means we are a step further in this case, but our work continues,” said Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger. “Thanks to the ongoing support from our community and local news outlets, law enforcement successfully gathered additional information to obtain a grand jury indictment in this years-long case. Once again, I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication of the Wheeling Police Department, the Ohio County Prosecutors Office, the Raleigh County, W.Va. Sheriff’s Office and our federal law enforcement partners.”

 

Bowman will return to West Virginia after an extradition hearing in Ohio. Both will be then arraigned in front of an Ohio County circuit court judge at a later time.


Groundbreaking Ceremony Held For New Wheeling Police Department Headquarters


WHEELING, W.Va. – After years of planning, renovations on a newer, modern headquarters for the City of Wheeling Police Department are finally underway.

 

Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger, Wheeling police officers, Mayor Glenn Elliott, City Council, and City Manager Robert Herron along with city staff joined together Thursday morning to kick the project off with a ceremonial groundbreaking.

 

“It has been a very long road getting to this point,” said Chief Schwertfeger. “I have much appreciation for those who had integral parts in getting us here today, including the WPD command staff and officers, our Mayor and City Council, our City Manager and of course our supportive community. Each person involved stuck with the vision to improve our facility and not once did anyone give up during this journey. Opportunities will be limitless with our new headquarters, as it will finally move the Wheeling Police Department into the 21st Century. There is no doubt this new facility will increase efficiency, professionalism, recruitment and retention.”

 

Located in the heart of Center Wheeling at 2115 Chapline Street, the new police headquarters building is the former Ohio Valley Medical Center Valley Professional Center. The $6.5 million dollar building renovation project is expected to begin next week and last roughly one year.
 

Mayor Glenn Elliott, joined by city council, said he is pleased to be moving forward on the project that will retrofit the vacant Valley Professional Center into the city’s new police department.

 

For the last several years, city council, in conjunction with city administration, have been seeking space that would allow the police department to relocate out of the current cramped and outdated space in the City-County Building,” Mayor Elliott said. “After a public safety levy fell a few votes short of its requisite 60-percent approval in 2018, city council made the difficult decision to fund this project by implementing a city service fee. This decision was made with the city’s best interests in mind. I look forward to the completion of the building next year.”


City Manager Robert Herron added, “It is an exciting time for our first responders in that this is the first of two very important projects. We are very fortunate to be able to repurpose an existing building for our police department and are looking forward to the future construction of a fire department headquarters in East Wheeling. The mayor and city council made the tough decision to fund these projects through a city service fee, however, I do believe when these projects are completed, the community will be very proud of the facilities that are available to them.

 

The Wheeling Police Department has been at its current location inside the City-County building in downtown since 1959 and occupies roughly 4,600 square feet. The new three-story facility will be more than 36,000 square feet with many new and improved amenities, including: office spaces for officers, civilian staff and community outreach programs, an enhanced training room, a physical fitness area, a highly secure entrance, a garage sally port for arrests, and a secure area for evidence storage.

 

The renovation design was provided by M&G Architects & Engineering of Wheeling. The Waller Corporation of Washington, Pa. is the general contractor for the project. The building is expected to be completed and occupied by early September 2022.


 


Wheeling Police Announce September Crime Watch Meetings



The Wheeling Police Department will continue to hold in-person neighborhood crime watch meetings throughout the month of September. In-person meetings resumed this summer and will continue into the fall months. 

 

The department currently holds seven monthly crime watch meetings in various neighborhoods throughout the city. Meetings very informal and are held to build relationships with residents by working together on crime related issues through conversation. Officers also provide monthly statistics and talk about upcoming police events and initiatives.
 

To get monthly schedules, residents can visit the online crime watch calendar wheelingwv.gov/crime-watch or call 304-234-3708 with questions. The current times, dates and locations are:


Warwood 

Date/Time: Second Thursday of the month, 7 p.m. 

Location: Warwood Christian Church, 131 North 17th Street 


North Wheeling 

Date/Time: Third Thursday of the month, 7 p.m. 

Location: Riverview Towers, 601 Main Street 


Wheeling Island 

Date/Time: Fourth Tuesday of the month, 6:30 p.m. 

Location: Wheeling Island Marina Shelter


East Wheeling - Downtown 

Date/Time: First Monday of the month, 6 p.m. 

Location: Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless, 84 Fifteenth Street 


Center - South Wheeling 

Date/Time: Fourth Tuesday of the month, 6:30 p.m. 

Location: Trinity Lutheran Church, 3536 Eoff Street 


Woodsdale-Edgewood-Pleasanton 

Date/Time: Second Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m. 

Location: Temple Shalom, 23 Bethany Pike 


Elm Grove - Springdale

Date/Time: Third Wednesday of the month, 7 p.m.
 Location: Elm Grove Civics, 21 Sycamore Avenue 

 

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Wheeling PD Arrest Man on Drug Charges, Battery on an Officer


A Wheeling man is faced with several criminal charges after an officer attempted to initially arrest him on possessing illegal drugs.

 

Shortly after midnight on Sunday, Aug. 29, Wheeling Police were attempting to serve an arrest warrant on Anthony Eugene McNeill, 46 of Wheeling in the 1400 block of Market Street in downtown.

 

When the officer attempted to take McNeill into custody, he began to resist arrest and started to fight the officer. He then tried to run from police, but the officer was able to gain control of the situation, handcuff McNeill and take him into custody.

 

During a search of McNeill, police then discovered McNeill possessed cocaine, crack cocaine and methamphetamine on him.
 
 In addition to the initial warrant of possession of a controlled substance, McNeill is also faced with battery on an officer and three more counts of possession of a controlled substance. He was initially taken to Wheeling Hospital for medical evaluation, and then to the Northern Regional Jail. 

 

The officer sustained minor injuries and was also evaluated at Wheeling Hospital. 



Wheeling Police Arrest Man for Possessing Methamphetamine


A local man is facing a criminal charge after Wheeling Police found illegal narcotics and drug using materials on him.

 

Around 2 a.m., Monday, Wheeling Police observed two people riding bicycles on the sidewalk of the Elm Grove Shilling Bridge. When the officer stopped to talk to the individuals, he identified one man for having an active arrest warrant out of Belmont County, Ohio for failure to appear. 

 

He was immediately detained, and during a search of the suspect, police found methamphetamine, pills, drug using materials and money on him. 

 

As a result, John William Shaw, 39 of Triadelphia was arrested and is charged with possession with intent to deliver. He was taken to the Northern Regional Jail pending arraignment.


WPD Arrest Man on Wanton Endangerment, Firearm Charges


Wheeling Police arrested a man suspected of firing a gun into a car on Wheeling Island earlier this week. Police arrested Daryl Wayne Smith, 46 of Wheeling Friday afternoon when officers located him in East Wheeling.

 

On Aug. 15, police were called to New Jersey Street around 4:15 a.m. for a report of a broken car window. Officers were able to obtain video surveillance from the scene, which showed a man, later identified by police as Smith, discharge a firearm to break the window and then flee the area.

 

Smith has been charged with felon in possession of a firearm and wanton endangerment. He was arraigned Friday afternoon by an Ohio County Magistrate, who set bond at $50,000. He was then transported to the Northern Regional Jail by police. 


Wheeling PD Seeking Applications for Police Officers


The Wheeling Police Department is currently seeking applications for probationary police officers. The deadline to apply is Friday, Sept. 3, with the Civil Service Exam taking place on Saturday, Sept. 11.

 

Applicants must pass a physical and written test, a polygraph exam, and a criminal background check. They also must be 18-40 years old and live within a 45-mile radius of Wheeling Police headquarters. 

 

Recently, the City of Wheeling has increased the incentive for West Virginia certified police officers who apply and pass all employment requirements with an $20,000 sign-on bonus after three full years of service to WPD.

 

Those interested can fill out an application online at wheelingwv.gov/policejobs. Questions on the application process or the sign-on bonus can be made to the city’s human resources department by visiting at wheelingwv.gov/hr or by calling 304-234-3694

 


Ohio Woman Facing Drug Charges


A Saint Clairsville woman is facing felony drug charges by Wheeling Police after authorities responded to an initial drug overdose an area of 29th Street and Valley Blvd. 

 

Around 6 p.m., Aug. 6, police, along with fire department personnel met with the driver of a vehicle who appeared to be under the influence of narcotics. Narcan was administered, and she was then taken to the hospital by ambulance. 

 

Police then searched the vehicle after an aroma of marijuana was detected. Officers then discovered fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine and pills inside the vehicle. 


 As a result, Hana Olivia Hall, 20 of St. Clairsville was arrested and charged with three counts of possession with intent to deliver. She was later taken to the Northern Regional Jail.


East Wheeling Shooting Investigation


Wheeling Police are investigating a shooting that injured one person Sunday evening in East Wheeling. The incident took place around 7 p.m. in the 1300 block of McColloch Street. A male victim was taken to Wheeling Hospital for medical treatment, where he remains in a stable condition. There is no suspect description at this time. The investigation is ongoing, and further updates will be provided when information is available.


Two Arrested on Drug Charges in Separate Incidents


Two people are facing drug charges after two separate incidents in the same area on Wheeling Island Thursday. 

 

The first arrest occurred just after 6:30 a.m. when police were conducting a foot patrol around 209 N. Broadway Street after receiving multiple complains of drug activity at that location. During the foot patrol, police encountered a man riding a bicycle. While talking to the bicyclist, the officer noted suspicious behavior, and the man appeared to be hiding what appeared to be illegal drugs. Officers detained the man and found methamphetamine, heroin and a scale. As a result, Timothy Ryan Abate, 26 of Bellaire, Ohio was taken into custody. Abate is charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance and was taken to the Northern Regional Jail. He was later arraigned by a magistrate on a $2,000 bond.

 

Later in the day, around 12:30 p.m., officers went to the same location for a man around the area squatting inside a garage. When police approached the man and searched the garage, they discovered crack cocaine, marijuana and drug using materials. David Lamont Hicks, 45 of Wheeling was arrested and charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance. He was arraigned by an Ohio County Magistrate, placed on a $2,000 personal recognizance bond, and released.


East Wheeling Shots Fired Investigation


Wheeling Police are investigating an overnight shots fired incident in the East Wheeling neighborhood.

 

Around 11:50 p.m., Wednesday , officers were called to 15th Street after residents reported hearing gunshots. After searching the area, several shell casings were found along the street, across from the AEP substation.

 

No one was injured during the incident, and at this time, there are no suspects. If the public has any information, they can call police at 304-234-3664 or the Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley tip line at 877-TIPS4US.


National Night Out Set for Tuesday, August 3


The Wheeling Police Department, along with several community partners will once again take part in National Night Out, set for Tuesday, Aug. 3 from 6-8 p.m. at the Wheeling Park Ice Rink.

National Night Out, now in its 38th year throughout the country, is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.

The event, held on the first Tuesday of August, provides a great opportunity to bring police and the community together under positive circumstances. The relaxed, fun filled ‘night out’ is geared toward enhancing relationship between residents and law enforcement in hopes to make the city’s neighborhoods safer, better places to live.

During the two-hour event, Wheeling Police will showcase its many units and divisions, including WPD’s Explorer Post No. 1, the Neighborhood Assistance Volunteers/ Citizens Police Academy, and the new Victim Advocacy Program. Additionally, WPD’s K9 Unit will offer a brief demonstration.

Snack foods and drinks will be provided as well as several displays and demos from multiple local agencies also will be part of the event. 


WPD Arrest Man on Illegal Drugs Charges


A Cleveland, Ohio man is facing two felony drug charges after Wheeling Police arrested him Thursday afternoon on Wheeling Island.

 

Around 4:30 p.m., police patrolling the south end of Wheeling Island initiated a traffic stop on Ohio Street. When the officers approached the occupants, they detected an odor of marijuana coming from the passenger side of the car. After a search of the vehicle and the occupants, police discovered a substantial amount of methamphetamine and crack cocaine.

 

As a result, the passenger of the vehicle, Andre Raymond Lewis, Jr., 24 of Cleveland, Ohio was arrested and charged with two counts of possession with intent to deliver. He was arraigned by an Ohio County Magistrate, where bond was set at $20,000. He remains in the Northern Regional Jail.



Two Arrested in Overnight Stabbing


Around 12:45 a.m., Thursday, Wheeling Police were called to the wooded area behind Lowe’s in the 2800 block of Chapline Street, near a homeless encampment, for a report of a man who had stabbed a woman.

 

When officers arrived, they met a woman, who had a knife stuck in her back and a man who was fighting her. The woman then began to threaten officers and later removed the knife from her back and threw it at the officers. As police attempted to de-escalate the situation, both became combative and started to fight. 


 Police were able to get the couple under control and detain them. The woman, Treva Lynn Ross, 41 of Wheeling, was taken to Wheeling Hospital by fire department personnel for medical treatment. Ross will be charged with battery on an officer, unlawful assault and obstructing an officer.  

 

Eugene Ray Hamm, III, 41 of Valley Grove was taken into custody and is charged with malicious assault. 


Wheeling Police Host NIBIN Mobile Unit to Help Region with Unsolved Gun-Related Crimes


The Wheeling Police Department welcomed representatives and technicians with the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), a program within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for a week-long analysis involving firearms.

 

Wheeling Police and NIBIN joined forces in an effort to help area law enforcement agencies link unsolved criminal cases through firearm ballistic evidence.

 

WPD is serving as a host site for the NIBIN Mobile Unit, which is comprised of a van and shoot trailer. The unit is being dispatched throughout various areas of the state to help police departments work on case backlogs. Together, NIBIN and law enforcement work to connect criminally seized weapons with shell casings found at crimes scenes in hopes to make a connection and further on-going gun-related investigations.

 

“The Wheeling Police fully recognizes the importance of relationships like the one we have with ATF,” said Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger. “WPD also understands the importance of tracing and submissions of firearms and ballistic evidence to be analyzed and entered in NIBIN and have been making those submissions for years. This Mobile Unit can assist us and other local agencies throughout the region to hopefully link those violent crimes and offenders that cross jurisdictional boundaries. WPD is honored to host the ATF Mobile NIBIN unit.”

 

ATF Special Agent in Charge, R. Shawn Morrow of the Louisville Division added, “The success of NIBIN relies heavily on the outstanding partnerships between ATF and the West Virginia law enforcement communityATF’s crime gun intelligence, including the NIBIN Mobile Unit, assists this partnership by identifying shooters, across jurisdictions, before they can reoffend. Together, we are using this technology to assist in combating violent crime and promoting public safety in Wheeling and the surrounding communities. ATF is thankful for these partnerships.”

 

How does it work? The weapon in question is first test-fired in the mobile unit, then the shell casing is collected and analyzed. The NIBIN Mobile Unit will take 3D and 4D imaging of the ballistic evidence. The NIBIN technology then compares images of submitted ballistic evidence from shooting scenes and recovered firearms and produces a list of possible similar results. Trained NIBIN technicians then conduct a correlation review of these results, identifying NIBIN leads or potential links or associations from the same firearm. The specific law enforcement agency is then informed of the results to help with their on-going investigation.

 

The NIBIN Mobile Unit was at no cost to the city of Wheeling, or local law enforcement.


Arrest Made in Malicious Assault Incident


Just before 3:15 p.m., Monday, Wheeling Police were called to 317 South Penn Street on Wheeling Island for a report a possible stabbing. When police officers arrived, they met a female victim inside an apartment who was injured.

 

Shortly after the 911 call, officers patrolling just a few blocks away, observed a man walking away from the area where the crime took place. After receiving a suspect description, the officer approached the man and quickly detained him near Zane Street.

 

The victim received medical treatment by Wheeling Fire Department personnel and was later transported to Wheeling Hospital.

 

Javone Donte Ferguson, 24 of Wheeling was arrested and charged with Malicious Assault. He was arraigned by an Ohio County Magistrate and a cash bond was set at $10,000. He was then transported to the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville. 



East Wheeling Shots Fired Investigation


The Wheeling Police Department is investigating a shots fired incident that happened early Sunday morning in East Wheeling.


Around 1:18 a.m., police officers were called to the area of 14th Street near McColloch Street for a report of gunshots. After talking to residents and searching the area, officers found spent shell casings in the nearby alley. No one was injured.

 

Based on information provided to police, the suspect is a black male with an average build. He was wearing a light-colored shirt and a hat at the time of the incident.

Should the public have any information, they are strongly urged to call police at 304-234-3664, submit a crime tip at wheelingwv.gov/crimetip or call the new Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley tip line at 877-TIPS4US.


Wheeling Man Facing Indecent Exposure Charge


The Wheeling Police Department announced Thursday that Wesley David McConnell, 66 of Wheeling is facing a criminal charge after an indecent exposure incident last month at the Wheeling Park pool.

 

On June 28, Wheeling Police were called to the park for a report of a man exposing himself to multiple people. After gathering information from witnesses, the investigation led to McConnell being summoned to Ohio County Circuit Court on the charge of indecent exposure, second offense. 

 

He was arraigned on Thursday, July 8 by a circuit court judge and was released on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond. A bond condition was also ordered by the court that McConnell have no contact with any minors. 



WPD Adds to Bicycle Unit; Debuts New Specialty Vehicles


Thanks to an anonymous community donor, the Wheeling Police Department introduced two brand-new specialty vehicles Tuesday that will be unique to law enforcement and community policing.

 

The Trikke Police Specialty Vehicles or simply “trikkes” are personal electric vehicles ready for police tasks when a typical police car is not the best option.

 

According to the manufacturer, Trikke Professional Mobility, the new specialty vehicles will extend an officer’s traditional foot and bicycle range, call response speeds, and dramatically increases positive public engagement. Fast and eco-friendly, it outperforms cruisers for mobility purposes in crowded conditions and multi-terrain scenarios.

 

The trikke’s can travel at a speed of 37 miles-per-hour and can last for roughly 30 miles or an eight-hour police shift. It also has a very quiet electric engine that allows officers be more alert of their surroundings.

 

“Already, several residents have seen the positive impact these new trikke’s are having in their area, by just having the ability to stop, have a conversation and have a positive interaction. Being able to make this addition to the Wheeling PD, with a heartfelt thanks to our anonymous donor, will no doubt increase our visibility, response time and enhance our continued efforts on community policing,” said Lt. Josh Sanders, WPD special operations commander.

 

All officers are in the process of being properly trained. Members of the new WPD Trikke Unit include Lt. Josh Sanders, Sgt. Rob Safreed, Cpl. Ben Young, Cpl. Carlie Haywood, Pfc. Dean Redinger and Pfc. Brandon Hoehn.

 

Wheeling Police will be utilizing the trikke’s this weekend for the Independence Day holiday as well as other community events, festivals and special operations throughout the year.


Wheeling Police, Ohio County Prosecutor’s Office Asking for Help in 2018 Homicide Investigation


The Wheeling Police Department and the Ohio County Prosecutor’s Office announced both agencies are seeking information and the public’s help with a 2018 murder case involving a Wheeling man and his pregnant girlfriend.

 

Both agencies held a joint news conference Friday, June 25 and outlined the details of the case, and why information is being sought years after the initial report was filed to authorities.

 

Wheeling Police began their investigation on Aug. 3, 2018, when Trevor Vossen, 27 and Lauren “Lulu” Jenkins, 28, who was five months pregnant, were reported missing.

 

Roughly two weeks later, on Aug. 15, 2018, dismembered and burned human remains were found along Sullivan Road, a rural area in Raleigh County, W.Va. For several days, the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office investigated, and later that month, the West Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the burned remains, identified via dental records, were Vossen and Jenkins.

 

The remains were later sent to the Smithsonian Institution - National Museum of Natural History, Department of Anthropology in Washington, D.C. for forensic analysis.

 

Wheeling Police, learning of the findings downstate, and having an active missing person’s case, communicated with the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office and together were able to connect the crime.

 

Based on a lengthy investigation, Wheeling Police detectives believe that Vossen and Jenkins were lured to a house in Wheeling, murdered, their bodies dismembered and then transported to Raleigh County, W.Va. to be destroyed by fire.

 

Police are also seeking information on the whereabouts of Vossen’s 2002 two-door White Honda Accord SE, which has been missing since the crime took place. The car had a WV license plate number of 73K986.

 

Gerald Wayne Jako, Jr. is being considered as a person of interest in the triple homicide. Jako has since been convicted of an unrelated crime and was sentenced to 100 years in prison in 2019. Jako’s conviction and sentencing were recently upheld by the West Virginia State Supreme Court.

 

Initially, authorities suspect people may have been reluctant to talk with police because of fear of retaliation. With Jako incarcerated, law enforcement is hoping anyone with information may feel more at ease to have a conversation with investigators.

 

“We believe there are others out there that have knowledge of what happened. We will not give up on justice for Trevor and Lulu and hope someone will come forward to help,” said Shawn R. Turak, Assistant Ohio County Prosecuting Attorney.

 

“Our work on this case will continue. Detectives are still looking for any tip that may offer more details or provide insight on what happened. We urge anyone who knows more to call us,” said Sgt. Rob Safreed, Investigations Commander for the Wheeling PD.

 

Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger added, “This is a very complex case and requires a lot of knowledge. I am proud of the skill set and professionalism of the Wheeling Police Department. I am also pleased to have a great working relationship with the Ohio County Prosecutors Office, as well as many other law enforcement agencies in West Virginia.”

 

Anyone with information on is case can call the Wheeling Police Department at 304-234-3664, The Raleigh County, W.Va. Sheriff’s Office at 304-255-9300 or the Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley tip line at 877-TIPS-4-US.
 


Wheeling Police, Fire Issue Warning on Illegal Fireworks


As the Independence Day holiday approaches, the city of Wheeling’s police and fire departments are reminding residents and visitors not to use or ignite illegal types of fireworks within city limits.

 

City ordinance 1535.01, enacted in 1981, prohibits any firework that propels into the air that is combustible or explosive, flammable or audible. This includes bottle & skyrockets, roman candles, and sky lanterns.

 

The ordinance does allow the use of certain fireworks within city limits. They include sparklers, fountains, party poppers, snaps, smoke devices, and various non-propellant noisemakers. 

 

Although multiple types of fireworks can be purchased following a change in West Virginia state law in 2016, they are still not permitted to be used within the City of Wheeling.

 

“Each year, especially the first week of July, the Wheeling Police Department becomes inundated with fireworks complaints. Thanks to city council’s recent amendment to the fireworks code, anyone who discharges illegal fireworks can face a $500 fine and the seizure of the materials. We are asking everyone to be courteous of others and not ignite these,” said Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger.

 

The police chief noted that officers will not be looking for people who are buying fireworks or transporting them in the city. All attention and enforcement efforts will be focused on discharging.

 

Fire Chief Jim Blazier added that fireworks are known to cause fire and serious injury this time of year. “Typically, the days before and around the July 4 holiday are known to be hot and dry. The fireworks ordinance was put in place more than 40 years ago to prevent the destruction of property from fire and reducing serious injuries. We ask everyone to keep their neighbors, pets and friends in mind and to play it safe, even with legal fireworks.”

 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 44-percent of injuries related to fireworks are burns to hands or fingers. More than a quarter of fires started by fireworks in the nation occur during the Independence Day holiday.


The full city ordinance can be read online at
wheelingwv.gov/fireworks.


WPD to Resume Neighborhood Crime Watch Meetings


The Wheeling Police Department announced that in-person neighborhood crime watch meetings are returning beginning Monday, July 5.

 

The department currently holds seven monthly crime watch meetings in various neighborhoods throughout the city. Meetings very informal and are held to build relationships with residents by working together on crime related issues through conversation. Officers also provide monthly statistics and talk about upcoming police events and initiatives.
 

To get monthly schedules, residents can visit the online crime watch calendar wheelingwv.gov/crimewatch or call 304-234-3708 with questions. The current times, dates and locations are:
 
Warwood 
Date/Time: Second Thursday of the month, 7 p.m. 

Location: Warwood Christian Church - 131 North 17th Street 


North Wheeling

Date/Time: Third Thursday of the month, 7 p.m. 

Location: Riverview Towers - 601 Main Street 


Wheeling Island 

Date/Time: Fourth Tuesday of the month, 6:30 p.m. 

Location: Wheeling Island Marina Shelter


East Wheeling - Downtown 

Date/Time: First Monday of the month, 6 p.m. 

Location: Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless - 84 15th Street 


Center - South Wheeling 

Date/Time: Fourth Tuesday of the month, 6:30 p.m. 

Location: Trinity Lutheran Church - 3536 Eoff Street 


Woodsdale-Edgewood-Pleasanton 

Date/Time: Second Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m. 

Location: Temple Shalom - 23 Bethany Pike 


Elm Grove - Springdale

Date/Time: Third Wednesday of the month, 7 p.m.
Location: Elm Grove Civics - 21 Sycamore Avenue 

 


Wheeling Police Introduce Newest K9 Officer


The Wheeling Police Department introduced the newest member of its K9 Unit Thursday - Ozzy, a 15-month-old German Shepherd.

K9 Ozzy, and his handler, Cpl. Jason Martin will serve the department and the citizens of Wheeling the next several years. Together, they are properly trained and ready to begin work in the areas of explosives detection, tracking and evidence recovery.

 

Ozzy will be the only known explosive detection canine in the region. He replaces K9 Declan, who was also trained in explosives. Declan served the WPD for 6 years until his 2019 retirement. Ozzy’s arrival comes at a perfect time, with several summer events planned in the city.

 

Still a young, energetic pup, Ozzy was raised and schooled through Black Rock Canine in Naugatuck, Conn. He was purchased thanks to a $15,000 donation from the Circus Saints and Sinners in Wheeling, $1,000 from residents of Montani Towers and $1,000 from Dr. and Mrs. Glenn Elliott, Sr.

 

Saints and Sinners President Chuck Hood indicated that the funds had initially been raised for a proposed WPD K9 Training Center, but the club was equally pleased to fund the acquisition of a new canine.

 

“Originally, we raised the money to support the construction of a new K9 training center,” said Hood. “When that project was put on hold, Cpl. Martin contacted us and asked if we would be okay with the funds going toward the purchase of a new police dog. We readily agreed and are very happy to help welcome Ozzy to Wheeling.”

 

Over the last few weeks, Ozzy and Cpl. Martin have trained in several areas on the east coast, including Times Square, Grand Central Station, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York and various areas in Connecticut. During that enhanced training period, Ozzy was taught to find and detect certain odors, evidence, and explosives.

 

In addition to Ozzy, the Wheeling PD has two other K9’s on duty, Jericho and Zero. An additional fourth K9 for the department is planned in the future.


Wheeling Police Investigating Overnight Shooting


One person was injured during a shooting in downtown early Sunday. Wheeling Police were called to the area of 1044 Market Street just after 2 a.m. for a report of multiple shots fired.

When officers arrived, a male victim was found injured and later transported to the hospital by the Wheeling Fire Department, where they have since been treated and released.

Police detectives are still actively investigating the incident and do have suspect information at this time. 

Should the public have any information, they are urged to call police at 304-234-3664, the Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley tip line at 877-TIPS4US or submit an online crime tip at wheelingwv.gov/crimetip.


Arrest Made in Easter Sunday I-470 Fatal Crash


The Wheeling Police Department announced Thursday that Franci Colon-Fermin, 47 of Allentown, Pennsylvania has been arrested and will be charged with negligent homicide in the April 4 fatal multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 470. 

 

Colon-Fermin was arrested Tuesday by Allentown Police as a fugitive from justice and is awaiting extradition to West Virginia.

 

The arrest comes after a thorough investigation into the crash. Colon-Fermin, who was the driver of a delivery truck, collided with a passenger car and semi-truck resulting in a fire, and the death of a female.


Wheeling PD to Host Explorer Program Recruitment Event


Wheeling Police will hold a recruitment and open house event next week for its Police Explorer Program at the department’s soon-to-be new headquarters in Center Wheeling. 

 

The event is set for 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, May 20 at 2115 Chapline Street. The event will give local students the opportunity to learn about the program, the law enforcement profession and see the department’s new headquarters.

 

Wheeling PD’s Explorer Post No. 1 was created in 2019 to familiarize and prepare youths for a career in law enforcement. Wheeling police officers will work with these young professionals to make sure they are properly trained and supervised. 

 

Applicants must be between the ages of 14 and 21, have completed the 8th grade and have maintained a grade point average of a 2.0 for all courses taken in school. Those enrolled in college must complete at least six credit hours per semester.

 

Representatives with the Ohio River Valley Council - Boy Scouts of America will be on hand to answer partnership questions. The program will only accept 15 students and is expected to begin explorer training in August.

 

For more information on the program, contact Lt. Josh Sanders at 304-234-6434 or email jsanders@wheelingwv.gov 




Wheeling PD’s Drug House Abatement Enforcement Nears One-Year Mark


The Wheeling Police Department continues to enforce the city’s drug house abatement ordinance by holding property owners and tenants accountable for illegal drug usage or other vice crimes, that are occurring with or around the real property. A total of 14 property owners have violated the ordinance and have now been summoned to the city’s municipal court. As a result of this police action and affirmation by the municipal court judge, all persons who rented and loitered at the property have been evicted or banned.

 

Passed by city council in July 2019, and enforced by the WPD beginning in the summer of 2020, the City of Wheeling now has an opportunity to abate these criminal issues. If there is documented evidence of either two misdemeanor vice crimes or a single felony regarding illegal drug activity in a twelve-month period, police will take the property owner to municipal court regarding the abatement.

 

Based on the municipal court’s decision, the property owner may be ordered to evict the tenant, add security features, ban individuals from the property or force landlords to enhance screenings at their property for future rentals. 

 

Properties that have been summoned in court to date:

  • 209 North Broadway St. – Wheeling Island
  • 608 North Erie St. – Wheeling Island
  • 20 South Penn St. – Wheeling Island
  • 108 South Penn St. – Wheeling Island
  • 317 South Penn St. – Wheeling Island
  • 423 South Penn St.– Wheeling Island
  • 531 South Huron St. – Wheeling Island
  • 151 Virginia St. – Wheeling Island
  • 627 Main St. – North Wheeling
  • 2242 Market St. – Center Wheeling
  • 2236 Eoff St. – Center Wheeling
  • 3622 Eoff St. – South Wheeling
  • 3728 Eoff St. – South Wheeling
  • 1216 ½ Valley View Ave. – Pleasanton 

Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger noted that most property owners and landlords have been very cooperative.

“This new ordinance has provided us with an additional tool to help combat what we know that continues to exist – the national drug epidemic. No good citizen should have to live next door to any criminal behavior,” said Chief Schwertfeger. “In some cases, this tool provides the landlord the ability to evict or make their properties a better place. This is not the end; we have several additional cases in the hopper that will be filed in the next few weeks. The Wheeling Police Department will continue to focus on properties and their occupants who carry out illegal activity in hopes to clean up these plagued areas of our city.”

 

The Wheeling Police Department remains committed to fighting criminal drug activity in all city neighborhoods. Residents and visitors can report crime in various ways, either by telephone, 304-234-3661, anonymous crime tips at wheelingwv.gov/crimetip or the Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley tip line at 877-TIPS4US.


Read the ordinance here:  Drug House Abatement Ordinance



Man Facing Several Charges After Mid-Day Hit and Run


A Canton, Ohio man is facing several criminal charges after initially hitting three vehicles in South Wheeling Monday afternoon.

 

Just before 3 p.m., Wheeling Police were called to the 1100 block of Main Street in downtown for a report of a pickup truck seen driving with heavy front-end damage and a flat tire. Police then initiated a traffic stop two blocks away. When the officers attempted to talk to the driver, he appeared to be under the influence and was slurring his speech. While performing a search of the suspect, officers found methamphetamine and drug using materials.

 

Based on information provided earlier, officers were able to connect the driver of the truck back to the initial multi-car hit and run near Wheeling Middle School in the 3500 block of Chapline Street.


 The suspect, 24-year-old Robert Garner-Henry was then arrested and taken into custody. He is facing charges of DUI, two counts of leaving the scene of an accident, possession of a controlled substance, obstructing, driving while suspended, and fugitive from justice (warrants from Moundsville, W.Va. and Belmont County, Ohio).

 

Garner-Henry was taken to Reynolds Memorial Hospital for medical evaluation, and later to the Northern Regional Jail pending a court arraignment.


One Injured in Pedestrian-Vehicle Crash


Wheeling Police are investigating an early morning vehicle crash involving a pedestrian in the Fulton area of the city.

 

Police were called to the 400 block of National Road around 6:15 a.m. for a male victim that was struck by a van and was seriously injured. The pedestrian was taken to Wheeling Hospital, where they remain in critical condition. The driver of the van was not injured.

 

Based on the initial investigation, the pedestrian was attempting to cross the street when they were struck in the westbound lanes.
 

The Ohio County Sheriff’s Office assisted in crash reconstruction. The case remains under investigation by Wheeling PD.


WPD Releases Information on Special Enforcement Operation


After a three-week special operation throughout the month of March, the Wheeling Police Department is pleased to share results of a law enforcement blitz to curb multiple drug related issues on Wheeling Island.

Led by North District Commander Lt. Russ Campbell and the WPD patrol divisions, the operation was supported by the Ohio Valley Drug Task Force and the West Virginia Division of Corrections Parole Office. Thanks to the cooperation between all entities, the task produced several arrest and law enforcement interactions.

The operation netted 15 arrests, (many wanted from other jurisdictions), 17 criminal citations, 70 traffic stops, 23 consensual encounters, and multiple verbal warnings. Officers worked roughly 188 hours between March 3-27 and used funding from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to cover all manpower costs.

Police worked several targeted days of the week during the three-week operation, thanks to data provided by WPD’s Crime Analyst, who focused on specific days and times when drug activity takes place and when overdoses are likely to occur.

When comparing overdoses from the 25-day operation to the same time in 2019 (2020 was not used because of the stay-at-home order), there was a 50-percent reduction in cases.

The officers also worked in a variety of roles, including uniformed patrols, walking in various neighborhoods, encountering suspected criminals in a non-uniformed setting, and using various surveillance tools.

The Wheeling Police Department remains committed to fighting criminal drug activity on Wheeling Island and all city neighborhoods. Residents and visitors can report crime in various ways, either by telephone, 304-234-3664, anonymous crime tips at wheelingwv.gov/crimetip or the Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley tip line at 877-TIPS4US.


Arrest Made in Threat Investigation


Wheeling Police announced today the suspect wanted for making terroristic threats Monday has been arrested.

30-year-old Ryan C. Cornforth was arrested early Tuesday morning by Pittsburgh Police. 

WPD obtained an arrest warrant for Cornforth Monday after he made a number of threats over the phone to schools, local businesses and individuals in the city.

Cornforth is in Pittsburgh Police custody. The Wheeling Police Department is handling the initial threat investigation.

INFO: (More Information from Pittsburgh Police)


Man Wanted for Making Terroristic Threats


The Wheeling Police Department is seeking the whereabouts on a person who made several threatening phone calls to local schools, businesses and individuals Monday morning. The threats were various in nature, including a bomb threat and the use of lethal force.


An arrest warrant has been issued for Ryan Charles Cornforth, 30 of Pittsburgh, formerly of Wheeling. Cornforth is being charged with terrorist threats.


Should the public have any information on his whereabouts; they are strongly urged to call police at 304-234-3664, or the Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley tip line at 877-TIPS-4-US.



I-470 Crash Investigation Update


The West Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the victim in Sunday’s multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 470 as Adanela Lillian Santana, 27 of Harrisburg, Pa. 


 Three others were injured in the crash and have since been treated and released from Wheeling Hospital. Wheeling Police are continuing their investigation into the cause of the crash.


Wheeling PD Seeking Applications for Police Officers


The Wheeling Police Department is currently seeking applications for the position of probationary police officers. The deadline to apply is Friday, April 16, with the Civil Service Exam taking place on Saturday, May 8.

 

Applicants must pass a physical and written test, a polygraph exam, and a criminal background check. They also must be 18-40 years old and live within a 45-mile radius of Police Headquarters. 

 

Recently, the City of Wheeling has increased the incentive for West Virginia certified police officers who apply and pass all employment requirements with an $20,000 sign-on bonus after three full years of service to WPD.

 

Those interested can fill out an application online at wheelingwv.gov/policejobs. Questions on the application process or the sign-on bonus can be made to the city’s human resources department by visiting at wheelingwv.gov/hr or by calling 304-234-3694.


Man Arrested for Possessing Methamphetamine


A Clearview man has been arrested by Wheeling Police after an early morning drug find in downtown. 

Around 1:50 a.m., Monday, police encountered a person acting suspiciously at the Knights Inn parking lot, located at 949 Main Street.

After conducting a search of the vehicle, officers found more than 11 grams of methamphetamine and drug using instruments inside. Police then arrested the driver, Keith E. Chambers, 30 of Clearview, W.Va.

Chambers is charged with possession with intent to deliver and was taken to the Northern Regional Jail pending a court arraignment.


Wheeling PD Honors Retiring K9 Keeni


The Wheeling Police Department said thank you and job well done to one of its friendly faces today. K9 Keeni will retire from the department after seven years of faithful service at the end of her shift Friday morning.

She was recognized for her service by Chief Shawn Schwertfeger and her fellow K9’s Jericho and Zero.

“Keeni served her department and the citizens of Wheeling extraordinarily during her tenure at the WPD,” said Chief Schwertfeger. “After many years of policing, these dogs never cease to amaze me. The skill set they possess, the loyalty they demonstrate and the service they provide are just a few of the many reasons police departments needs our canine friends.”

A Dutch Shepherd, Keeni was born July 20, 2012 in St. Albens, W.Va. Shortly after being trained in the areas of narcotic detection, tracking and apprehension through Ultimate Working Dogs and the West Virginia Police Canine Association. She was hired by the City of Wheeling in August 2014.

Over the last several years, Keeni and her handler, Cpl. Jason Martin made numerous arrests, drug finds and entertained many at local school and community functions with her jumping skills. She always enjoyed anyone who would pet her, loved beggin’ strips and is known for stealing any leftover food from the trash and was even nicknamed ‘The Trash Panda.’

Keeni will enjoy retirement with Cpl. Martin and his family. A replacement for K9 Keeni will be announced in the summer.


Suspect In January Wheeling Island Shooting Now Wanted for Murder


Wheeling Police announced Friday that the victim in the January 28 shooting at the VooDoo Lounge on Wheeling Island has died.

Michael J. Jackson, 41 of Wheeling died at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va. Thursday evening.

Wheeling police detectives have now charged Niyajah A. Hales, 19 of New York with murder. Hales should be considered armed and dangerous.

Should the public have any information on Hales whereabouts, they are strongly urged to call police at 304-234-3664, submit a crime tip at wheelingwv.gov/crimetip or call the new Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley tip line at 877-TIPS4US.


South Wheeling Shooting Investigation


Wheeling Police are investigating a shooting that injured two people Wednesday evening in South Wheeling.

About 7:33 p.m., police were called to the area of 46th and Jacob Streets for a report of shots fired. When officers arrived, they initially found a male victim who was injured from the shooting. Later, a second victim was located. Both were taken to Wheeling Hospital by Wheeling Fire Department personnel.

The initial victim was treated and released and then taken into custody by WPD because he was wanted out of Belmont County, Ohio. The second victim remains hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

Multiple witnesses in the area told police they heard the gunshots, and that a person of interest, a black male, approximately 6 feet tall, with long hair and wearing a black hoodie was seen walking south towards the Benwood area with a second black male.

At this time, police detectives are still actively investigating and gathering information in the area.

Should the public have any information, they are strongly urged to call police at 304-234-3664, submit a crime tip at wheelingwv.gov/crimetip or call the new Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley tip line at 877-TIPS4US.


Traffic Stop Nets Three Arrests in Wheeling


Three people are facing various criminal charges after an initial traffic stop in downtown over the weekend.

Around 4:45 p.m., Friday, police officers initiated a traffic stop at 14th and Chapline Streets. When the officer approached the vehicle, a strong odor of marijuana was observed which prompted a search of the vehicle.

Officers discovered marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine inside and took the driver and two others into custody.

The driver, Howard Miller, III, 50 of Wheeling is charged with possession of Heroin, and driving with a suspended license. He also was wanted for failure to appear in court. He was taken to the Northern Regional Jail.

Howard Jay Miller, 28 of Wheeling is charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana. He was issued criminal citations and released.

Amanda Marie McPherson, 32 of Wheeling is wanted on two outstanding warrants for failure to appear in court. She was taken to the Northern Regional Jail.


Shots Fired Investigation


Wheeling Police are investigating a shots fired incident that happened over the weekend in the Elm Grove area of the city.

Police were called to Junior Avenue shortly before 3 a.m. Sunday for a report of gunshots being heard. Based on witnesses in the area, police believe the suspect is a light skinned black male wearing a blue hoodie at the time of the incident. No one was injured during the incident and no other suspect information was provided to police.

Should the public have any information, they are strongly urged to call police at 304-234-3664, submit a crime tip at wheelingwv.gov/crimetip or call the new Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley tip line at 877-TIPS4US.


Ohio Man Arrested by WPD on Felony Drug Charges


An Ohio man wanted on an initial petit larceny warrant has been arrested and is now facing two felony drug charges after police discovered a variety of narcotics on the suspect.

Police officers arrested Tristen Jamar Scott Thomas, 20 of Cambridge, Ohio after recognizing him while conducting an investigation near at 20 South Penn Street on Wheeling Island around 3 p.m. Monday afternoon.

Police followed the vehicle he was spotted in and caught up to him after he had gotten out of the vehicle and was trying to enter a business on Virginia Street.

When police found Thomas, they discovered roughly 38 grams of various illegal drugs in his possession, including marijuana, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cocaine. Thomas was charged with two counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and was transported to the Northern Regional Jail, pending arraignment by an Ohio County magistrate.


Body Found in Ohio River Identified


Wheeling Police announced Monday the body found along the shoreline of the Ohio River on Feb. 18 has been identified as Brandon C. Snyder, 31 of Wheeling.

At this time, a manner or cause of death has not yet been determined by the West Virginia Medical Examiners Office. The case remains under investigation.


Death Investigation


The Wheeling Police Department is investigating after a man was found dead on Wheeling Island early Thursday morning.

Around 6:30 a.m. police were called to a house on North Broadway Street for an initial medical emergency. The person involved was taken to the hospital, where they later were pronounced dead. Based on a mobile fingerprint scan, investigators have determined the deceased is Zackory J. Sadler, 36 of Donora, Pa. Sadler was wanted out of Washington County, Pa. for murder charges.

Sadler’s body will be taken to the West Virginia Medical Examiner’s office in Charleston, W.Va. The medical examiner’s office will determine a manner and cause of death. Based on Wheeling PD’s initial findings, there were no apparent external injuries to Sadler’s body.

Wheeling Police will investigate Sadler’s death. Washington, Pennsylvania Police are the lead investigators regarding his initial wanted status.

CONTACT:
Wheeling, WV Police, (304-234-3732)
Washington, PA Police, (724-223-1386)


Body Found in Ohio River


Wheeling police detectives are investigating the death of a person after a man’s body was found on the shoreline of the Ohio River mid Thursday morning.

Around 9:45 a.m., the Ohio County 911 Center was notified of the body by a pedestrian on the Wheeling Suspension Bridge. Shortly after being informed, Wheeling Fire Department personnel arrived on scene along with police to investigate.

The man’s body will be taken to the WV Medical Examiner’s Office in Charleston for a positive identification. That process could take several days or weeks. Wheeling Police detectives will work to determine a manner and cause of death.


Drug Arrest Made on Wheeling Island


A Cleveland, Ohio man has been arrested and is now facing felony drug charges after an initial traffic stop late Wednesday on Wheeling Island.

Around 10:35 p.m., police initiated a traffic stop around Zane and N. Broadway Streets. When officers approached the occupants of the vehicle, they detected the smell of marijuana. After conducting a search of the vehicle and the occupants, police found marijuana, a large sum of money and drug using instruments.

William Turner Johnson, Jr., 29 of Cleveland, Ohio was charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. He was transported to the Northern Regional Jail by WPD. He was later arraigned by an Ohio County magistrate, who set bond at $2,000.

A second person, Taylor Lynn Devault, 21 of Martins Ferry, Ohio was issued two citations and released.


Reports of Suspicious Activity in South Wheeling Leads to Multiple Arrests


The Wheeling Police Department has criminally charged four people after multiple citizen complaints involving drug activity in the South Wheeling area.

On Jan. 13, police observed suspicious activity at 3622 Eoff Street. When the officers working the area approached a woman leaving the house, they appeared to be hiding something. Further investigation revealed the suspect, Harley Kay Blake, 27 of Wheeling was in possession of fentanyl. She was cited and released on Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Because of the multiple citizen complaints on this address, police further investigated and received more information on the suspicious activity in the area.

Search warrants were obtained for the address on Jan. 18 and while inside, police found multiple types of illegal drugs, drug using instruments      and various types of suspected drugs. Three other people were arrested and are now facing various charges. They include:

  • Joseph Stephen Paree, 31 of Wheeling, arrested on active state felony warrant for Malicious Assault
  • Roberta Jasmine Sheets, 35 of Martins Ferry, Ohio, arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • Treva Lynn Hamm, 40 of Wheeling, charged on a state summons for Operating/Maintaining a Drug Premises

Paree and Sheets were taken to the Northern Regional Jail. Both were later arraigned by a magistrate where a $1,000 cash bond was sent for Sheets, and a $2,500 bond was set for Paree. Hamm was served a summons for her charge.


Suspect Wanted in Jan. 28 Wheeling Island Shooting


Wheeling Police are seeking the whereabouts on a suspect wanted in connection to the Jan. 28 shooting at the VooDoo Lounge on Wheeling Island.

Arrest warrants have been filed for Niyajah A. Hales, 19 of New York. Hales is wanted for malicious wounding and wanton endangerment with a firearm. He should be considered armed and dangerous. Should anyone have information, they are strongly urged to call police at 304-234-3664.

A second suspect, Brian Steele, 36 of New York was arrested last week in connection to the crime. He was charged with wanton endangerment with a firearm and prohibited person in possession of a firearm. He was transported to the Northern Regional Jail by WPD and later arraigned by an Ohio County Magistrate. Bond was set at $25,000 for each charge.

 


Wheeling Police Department Releases 2020 Crime Statistics


The City of Wheeling’s Police Department experienced a very different year in 2020. While the city continues to be a very safe place to live and work – several changes and unforeseen trends took place with the types of calls officers were summoned to, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall calls for service were down by 7%, the biggest decrease in years. This is largely due to the nationwide shutdown in the spring. Call volume dropped below average levels, as schools and businesses closed, and most public gatherings were halted. Most people stayed home through this time, which also contributed to the nearly non-existent traffic volume.

For specific crime related information, the data is divided into two areas – “Group A” offenses, which are generally more serious (homicide, robbery, sex crimes), and “Group B” offenses, which involve more nuisance, quality of life, property crimes and highway safety/traffic offenses.

“Group A” offenses (more serious crimes) was up slightly, however, “Group B” (less serious crimes) were down, the first in several years. The fluctuation in numbers is believed to be indirectly caused by the COVID-19 health crisis and staffing issues within the department. WPD was unable to get several new members trained and certified because of the state’s academy being canceled in the spring and later delayed.

In other categories, traffic enforcement was up, mostly because of the I-70 bridges project. A continued area of concern is the ongoing nationwide opioid epidemic. Overdose related calls and deaths were at a five-year high.

  • Group A (more serious offenses) INCREASED by 3.8%

Categories that decreased from the previous year were:

  • Assaults (Down 3.5%)                                              
  • Fraud (Down 11%)
  • Larceny/Thefts (Down 8.5%)                                    

Categories that increased from the previous year were:

  • Burglary (Up 23%)                                                       
  • Robbery (Up 82%) Note: 31 in 2020 vs. 17 in 2019   
  • Sex Offenses (Up 61%)
  • Vandalism (Up 27%)
  • Drug Offenses (Up 14%)

   
 

  • Group B (less serious offenses) DECREASED by 4.6%

All Group B offenses (decreased slightly. With most public gathering, events and businesses closed, these numbers were slightly down compared to the previous year.

                                      

  • Traffic Enforcement INCREASED by 41%

WPD continued to up its efforts to increase traffic enforcement, especially along the Interstate 70 corridor in 2020. Last year, there was a 17% decrease in crashes, mostly believed to be contributed to people staying at home during the spring shutdown.

  • Drug Overdoses INCREASED by 51%

Drug-related overdoses have increased each of the last four years. In 2020, overdose related deaths also increased significantly over the previous year – up 69%. Drug overdoses were not just heroin related, but multiple types of narcotics. In addition to overdose related calls, WPD answered 214 medical calls with the Wheeling Fire Department. *Note: Overdose death numbers can change after annual statistics are released because of current pending cases with the state medical examiner’s office*

         

  • False Alarm Calls DECREASED by 20%

The False Alarm Reduction Program was implemented in October 2016 with the goal to gradually decrease the number of false burglar alarms police were responding to in hopes to ease the burden on the patrol division. In the last year, the number of false alarms the department responded to from the previous year decreased by 20%. In the last four years, the alarm count has steadily declined overall by 36%.

                                                                                                                                                                     


Overnight Shooting Investigation


Wheeling Police are investigating a shooting that happened early Thursday morning on Wheeling Island that left one person injured.

Police were called to the VooDoo Lounge on South Penn Street around 12:50 a.m. When officers arrived, they were informed one person was shot and that two suspects believed to have been involved fled the area on foot.

Witnesses told police both suspects were light skinned black males, possibly in their twenties or thirties. The first suspect is described as tall and skinny, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a black wave cap at the time of the incident. The second suspect is described as a shorter, medium build, wearing a grey sweatshirt at the time of the incident and had uniquely long pointed beard.

The victim was taken to the hospital by the fire department for medical treatment.

Should the public have any information, they are strongly urged to call police at 304-234-3664, submit a crime tip at wheelingwv.gov/crimetip or call the new Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley tip line at 877-TIPS4US.

   For more news, visit: wheelingwv.gov/policenews


I-70 Eastbound Fulton Bridge Closure Beginning Monday, February 1


The West Virginia Division of Highways advises that, beginning Monday, February 1, 2021, I-70 Eastbound will be closed from US 250 & WV 2 South - 16th Street Exit (Exit 1B) to the Oglebay Park Exit (Exit 2A) in order to begin phase two of the Fulton Bridge Replacement as part of the I-70 Forward Bridges Project. The US-250 North on-ramp to I-70 East will also be closed as a part of phase two. These closures will continue for approximately nine months.  All thru traffic is advised to use I-470 as the official detour to reach points East, while local traffic is encouraged to use US-40 Eastbound. Detour signage will be in place to assist drivers in navigating the route change.

Heads up, phones down! Motorists are advised to be alert for changing traffic patterns and to expect delays. Any questions or concerns regarding the I-70 Bridges Project can be directed to the hotline at 304-810-3214. For additional information regarding the project, visit i70forward.com. Inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances could impact the project schedule.

Contact:
WVDOTCommunications@wv.gov


Man Wanted for Several Felony Warrants Arrested by Wheeling PD


A Wheeling man was arrested Wednesday by Wheeling Police after a brief foot chase on Wheeling Island.

Around Noon, officers patrolling the area of South Huron and Ohio Streets saw a man walking in the area who was wanted by authorities. When the officer approached the suspect, Ricardo Maurice Smith, 31 of Wheeling, he started to run, but was quickly arrested moments later.

Smith was wanted by West Virginia State Police on three felony drug possession warrants. He also was wanted on a probation violation and was charged by WPD for fleeing.

He was taken to the Northern Regional Jail pending a court arraignment.


Arrest Made in Fleeing Incident


A local man has been arrested by Wheeling Police after a fleeing incident earlier this week in the downtown area.

On Jan. 10, police initiated a traffic stop in the 1000 block of Market Street. Moments after the driver stopped the vehicle, he ran from the officer, but was quickly found in the 900 block of Main Street.

Officers discovered the suspect, identified as Philip Joseph Humphries, 45 of Wheeling was driving a stolen vehicle out of Gwinnett County, Georgia and wanted as a fugitive by authorities for other criminal charges in Wythe County, Virginia.

Humphries also fled from officers two days prior after driving recklessly in the 36th and Jacob Streets area of South Wheeling.

He was charged by police with fleeing, receiving or transferring stolen goods and driving suspended. Humphries was transported to the Northern Regional Jail. He was arraigned by an Ohio County Magistrate, where bond was set at $10,500.


Wheeling Man Facing Drug Charges


A Wheeling man has been arrested and is now facing felony charges that stem from a drug related incident last year.

Brandon K. Creighton, 44 of Wheeling was arrested around 12 p.m., Thursday in downtown after receiving information on his whereabouts. He was taken into custody without incident.

Creighton is accused being involved in drug activity at the Knotty Pines on Junior Avenue in October of 2020.


Creighton is charged with delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school. He was arraigned by an Ohio County Magistrate and was released after posting a $5,000 bond.


Wheeling PD Issues Overdose Spike Alert


The Wheeling Police Department wants to alert the public on a spike in opioid related overdoses that have occurred in the city over the last week.

In the last seven days, police and fire department personnel responded to 16 overdoses, with three of those cases being probable deaths. Several victims required multiple doses of naloxone for survival.

Three overdose alert texts were sent out this week via the departments “Overdose Spike Alert” text messaging system – available for the public to sign up at ohiocountyemergency.com.

According to the department’s crime analyst, the majority overdoses occurred on Wheeling Island and in the Center/South Wheeling area. The department responded to 230 overdoses in 2020 – the highest yearly total in the last five years.


Overnight Crash Leads to DUI Arrest


A St. Clairsville, Ohio woman is facing several charges after crashing her vehicle overnight in downtown Wheeling.

Around 12:45 a.m., Wednesday, police patrolling the downtown area observed the driver of a black sedan cross the center line in the 1500 block of Chapline Street and then strike several parking meters, a light pole, and a parked car.

Officers on scene checked the three occupants of the vehicle for injures, and all denied medical treatment. While questioning the driver on what happened, officers noted the smell of alcohol on the driver, which prompted a field sobriety test.

Arrested was Eleni Alexcia Voyiatt, 37 of St. Clairsville. She is charged with Aggravated DUI, Striking Fixtures Upon a Highway, Failure to Drive Right of Center and Failure to Maintain Control.

She was transported to the Northern Regional Jail pending an arraignment by a magistrate.


Police Investigating Early Morning Robbery in Downtown


Wheeling Police are seeking information on a man who robbed a store clerk early Tuesday morning in the downtown area.

Around 4:15 a.m., police were called to the 7-11 in the 1400 block of Market Street for a report of a possible armed robbery.

According to employees inside, a black male was briefly shopping inside the store when he approached the counter, demanded money, and robbed them. The suspect appeared to have a weapon inside his jacket but did not display one.

Employees told police the man was wearing a black beanie, a black puffy jacket, light in color blue jeans and a surgical mask. He then left the store walking north towards 14th & Market Streets.

Should the public have any information, they are strongly urged to call police at 304-234-3664, submit a crime tip at wheelingwv.gov/crimetip or call the new Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley tip line at 877-TIPS4US.


Breaking & Entering Investigation Leads to Quick Arrest


A local man is facing felony charges after breaking and entering an Elm Grove business last Thursday.

Just after 5 a.m., Dec. 24, Wheeling Police were dispatched to Gumby’s in the 2100 block of National Road for an initial burglar alarm. Further investigation revealed the business was forcibly entered by someone and several items stolen.

Video surveillance showed the suspect breaking into the business and fleeing shortly police arrived on scene. After reviewing the footage, police searching the area were able to identify the suspect on Junior Avenue based on a clothing description and the suspect being involved in a disorderly call earlier with the same responding officers.

Police arrested David Michael Sexton, 36 of Benwood, W.Va. He is charged with one count of breaking and entering. Sexton was taken to the Northern Regional Jail by WPD where bond was set at $10,000.

 


Arrest Made in Downtown Vandalism Investigation


A Wheeling man has been criminally charged after vandalizing several buildings in the downtown area earlier this month.

Police announced Monday that Seth Michael Robinson, 33 of Wheeling was arrested and charged with two counts of destruction of property. The arrest stems from two separate incidents where its believed Robinson painted graffiti on two properties in downtown.

Police started their investigation on Nov. 18 when a building in the 1500 block of Market Street was reported vandalized with paint.

A second incident occurred on Dec. 6 in the 1300 block of Water Street, where the arrestee was caught in the act by police. Around 6 a.m. that morning, police receiving a report of a suspicious person carrying a ladder in the downtown area. Shortly after, police found Robinson painting the exterior wall of a building, where he was arrested and taken into custody.

After further investigation, Robinson was charged and arrested again last week regarding the Nov. 18 incident.

Robinson was arraigned by an Ohio County magistrate where he was released on a personal recognizance bond. The investigation continues and more charges are possible.

Police want to remind citizens and businesses to always call 9-1-1 should they observe suspicious or criminal activity.


Downtown Traffic Stop Leads to Several Arrests


Three people were arrested Monday evening and are now facing various criminal charges by the Wheeling Police Department.

Around 11:35 p.m., police patrolling the downtown area initiated a traffic stop at 11th and Market Streets. When officers approached the vehicle, the occupants began to act suspicious, prompting a search of the vehicle.

Officers discovered several illegal drugs, including methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine, pills, and drug using instruments inside the vehicle and on two of the occupants.

During the investigatory stop, the officer noted that one of the occupants had attempted to hide something in their mouth. The officer located narcotics and was able to remove some of them. The Wheeling Fire Department was called, and the suspect later overdosed and was transported to the hospital by ambulance.
 

As a result, three were arrested and are now facing charges.

  • Anthony Eugene McNeill, 45 of Wheeling. He is charged with three counts of possession of a controlled substance and obstructing. 
  • Cheyene Nicole Ebert, 22 of Wheeling. She is charged with fugitive from justice out of Polk County, Florida and possession of a controlled substance.
  • Herman Monroe Phillips, Jr., 26 of Wheeling. He was charged with driving while suspended.

Malicious Assault Investigation


Wheeling Police are investigating a malicious assault that happened Monday morning on the Heritage Trail in downtown.

Around 8:25 a.m., officers met with a male victim on Water Street. He said he was walking south on the trail near the playground and was approached by several white males, possibly in their early 20’s wearing dark colored hoodies. He said the suspects assaulted him several before fleeing the area and running south on the trail towards Heritage Port.

The victim received head and facial injuries and did not request medical treatment.

Should the public have any information, they are strongly urged to call police at 304-234-3664, submit a crime tip at wheelingwv.gov/crimetip or call the new Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley tip line at 877-TIPS4US.


South Wheeling Stabbing Investigation


Wheeling Police are investigating a stabbing that took place late this morning in South Wheeling.

Police were called to the 3300 block of Jacob Street around 10:40 a.m. for a report of a man who was stabbed by a female inside a home. A second female victim received minor injuries during the altercation but did not require medical treatment.

The male victim was taken to Wheeling Hospital by city firefighters to be treated for serious injuries. Police are still gathering information on the crime as the case is still under investigation.


4th Annual ‘Operation Toy Lift’ Set for December 5


The Wheeling Police Department is once again teaming up with the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office to host the fourth annual Operation Toy Lift on Saturday, December 5 at the Ohio Valley Mall in Saint Clairsville.

Donation drop offs will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking lot across from Ferguson’s House of Furniture. The theme for Operation Toy Lift continues to be “Raising Hope for Kids in the Ohio Valley.”

Those wishing to join in on the event can simply purchase a new toy – for ages ranging from infant to teenager and drop off to the volunteers on site. Grabbing the public’s attention in the ‘Toy Lift’ will be various local community members.

Toys will be distributed to those in need through the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley.

All workers and volunteers with the operation will be following local COVID-19 health guidelines and will be wearing masks at the drop off site. Those wishing to donate can simply hand the donation out their window or put the donation in their car trunk so there is little to no contact with volunteers collecting the toys.

If anyone wishes to make a monetary donation, please write a check to the United Way for the Upper Ohio Valley and writing in the memo line “Toy Lift.”

For a second year, Operation Toy Lift is hoping to have a friendly competition between schools in Belmont, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall and Wetzel counties. Each have been challenged to raise funds during the month of November that will be donated to the United Way and Operation Toy Lift. The schools that raise the most money – one from Ohio and one from West Virginia - will be presented a trophy to keep for one year, until the following year. In addition to the trophy, the winning school will be represented by their Superintendent, Principal or designee in the lift on the day of the event. However, with COVID-19 restrictions and remote learning, this may be delayed until the 2021 school year.

This year’s participants in the Toy Lift are:

10-10:30                           David Bloomquist – 1170 WWVA-AM
10:30-11                           Robert Thomas – Thomas Auto Center
11-11:30                           Chief Deputy Jim Zusack – Belmont County Sheriff’s Office
11:30-Noon                       Jeff Felton – Belmont County Job & Family Services
Noon-12:30                       Taylor Long – WTRF-TV
12:30-1                             Chief Larry Helms – Wheeling Fire Department
1-1:30                               Chad Thalman – Wheeling City Council
1:30-2                               Jennifer Compston-Strough – The Times Leader Newspaper
2-2:30                               Sheriff Dave Lucas – Belmont County Sheriff’s Office
2:30-3                               Rich Lucas – Main Street Bank
3-3:30                               West Virginia School Winner
3:30-4                               Ohio School Winner

In addition to the law enforcement agencies, partner’s for this year’s event include the City of Wheeling, Wheeling Fire Department, Cumberland Trail Fire Department, Belmont County Student Services, United Way for the Upper Ohio Valley, Ohio Valley Mall, Boscov’s, iHeartRadio, Ohio Valley Oil and Gas Association, Bill’s Towing, Information Helpline, Tricor, American Electric Power, A Special Wish Foundation, ICR Equipment Rental and WTRF-TV.


North Wheeling Drug Arrest


One person was arrested on drug charges after an initial traffic related call in North Wheeling Sunday. Around 4:25 p.m., Wheeling Police were called to the 700 block of Main Street for a vehicle parked in front of a fire hydrant.

When officers approached the driver of the vehicle, they noted the suspect was acting suspicious and was carrying a duffle bag. A Wheeling PD K9 Unit on scene alerted police of possible drugs inside the bag.

After a search of the bag and the car, police found methamphetamine, marijuana, drug using instruments and prescription pills.

As a result, Russell Stanley Lemasters, 50 of Short Creek was arrested and is charged with possession of a controlled substance. He was transported to the Northern Regional Jail pending arraignment.


Man Arrested on Felony Fleeing Charges


One person has been arrested and charged after a vehicle pursuit with Wheeling Police. Around 5:40 p.m., Tuesday, police patrolling in the Center Wheeling area observed a vehicle driving recklessly on 24th Street.

The officer attempted to make a traffic stop, but the driver of the vehicle proceeded to flee from police, traveling at times on the wrong side of the road through downtown at a high rate of speed.

The officer then disengaged the pursuit because of safety concerns, but moments later the driver entered Interstate 70 at the Wheeling Tunnel and proceeded to travel west in the eastbound lanes. The suspected continued driving the wrong way and struck three vehicles before crashing near Exit 1A. The drivers of the three cars hit were not injured.

The suspect then briefly ran from police on the Fort Henry Bridge before being arrested by and taken into custody by officers.

Desean Lee Moses, 30 of Wheeling was arrested and is charge with Fleeing while DUI and Fleeing Recklessly, both felonies. He was transported to the Northern Regional Jail by WPD.


Armed Robbery Investigation


Wheeling Police are investigating an armed robbery that happened on Wheeling Island over the weekend.

Police were called to the 100 block of North York Street around 5:30 a.m. Sunday for two people who were robbed at gunpoint.

According to the victims, a black colored SUV with five people inside approached them around the Burger King on Zane Street and started talking to them. A short time later, the victims told police the occupants of the SUV assaulted them on North York Street and robbed them of their belongings at gunpoint.

The victims were not able to provide a detailed description of the suspects other than the assailants were a while male, a white female and three black males.

Should the public have any information, they are urged to call police at 304-234-3664, submit a crime tip at wheelingwv.gov/crimetip or call the new Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley tip line at 877-TIPS4US.


UPDATE: Body Found in Little Wheeling Creek Identified


Wheeling Police announced Monday the man’s body found near the Shilling Bridge in Little Wheeling Creek on Oct. 28 has been identified as Brian James Dougherty, 50 of McKeesport, Pa.

Dougherty was reported missing Oct. 26 to authorities in Allegheny County, Pa. At this time, a cause and manner of death has not yet been determined by the West Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office. The case remains under investigation.


Vehicle Pursuit Ends With Arrest


Around 12:20 p.m., Sunday, Wheeling Police were called to the Warwood area of the city for a report of road rage.

When police found the driver of the vehicle, they activated their emergency lights and sirens and started to pursue the vehicle southbound on River Road.

The driver did not stop for law enforcement and accelerated at a high rate of speed while driving recklessly through North Wheeling and onto Interstate 70 East. The driver then exited the interstate at Perkins and crashed into the shrubbery. He then left his car and ran from police on Mount DeChantal Road. Officers were able to catch up with the suspect on foot and tase him near Kroger before taking him into police custody.

Arrested was Robert Franklin Henry, 46 of Bellaire, Ohio. He is charge with Fleeing while DUI, Felony Fleeing, Fleeing in a vehicle, speeding, and obstructing an officer.


Police Seeking Information on Destruction of Property Case


Wheeling Police are seeking information on a destruction of property case in the Woodsdale area of the city.

On Friday, October 25, police were called to Orchard Road about a mailbox being destroyed. Further investigation revealed residents heard a loud explosion sound around 1 a.m. and later found the mailbox was damaged.

No one was hurt and the case remains under investigation. Police believe the blast was caused by a commercial grade firework, which can be very dangerous.

Should the public have any information, they are urged to call police at 304-234-3664, submit a crime tip at wheelingwv.gov/crimetip or call the new Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley tip line at 877-TIPS4US.


Months Long Investigation Leads to Drug Arrest


Wheeling Police announced Friday that a Wheeling Island resident has been arrested and is facing criminal drug charges after a months long investigation involving a one-pot meth lab.

Police investigated the crime at 513 N. Wabash Street and executed a search warrant Thursday, resulting in the arrest of 41-year-old Ethan Edward Byers.

Police started their investigation in December 2019 after numerous complaints involving suspected drug activity. Investigators also received information of several drug purchases involving the suspect from NPLEx - the National Precursor Log Exchange electronic logging and compliance system that tracts the sales of over-the-counter medications containing pseudoephedrine.

While conducting a search of the house Thursday, investigators found one-pot meth labs as well as several drug making instruments and tools.

Byers is charged with two counts of operating a clandestine drug lab (felony) and possession of a controlled substance (misdemeanor). After being arrested and taken into custody, he was transported to the Northern Regional Jail by WPD. He was later arraigned by an Ohio County Magistrate, and a cash bond was set at $21,000.

The area was rendered safe by police and there is no health threat to nearby homes. The investigation was led by the department’s patrol division.


Body Found in Little Wheeling Creek


Late this afternoon, around 5 p.m., Wheeling Police were called to the Shilling Bridge above Little Wheeling Creek in Elm Grove for a report of a man’s body in the water. The 911 call was made by people walking along the bridge.

Police detectives, Wheeling Fire Department personnel, as well as the West Virginia Medical Examiners Office all responded to the scene.

The body will be taken to the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Charleston for identification, which could take several days.


Man Arrested on Fugitive Charges, Fleeing and Obstructing Police


Wheeling police arrested a man wanted on two active warrants Tuesday afternoon in downtown.

Police received a call around 3:15 p.m. in the area of 12th and Main Streets regarding a man who was wanted by authorities in Ohio. When officers attempted to confront the man, he started to run from them.

The suspect, identified as Joseph Allen Perrine, 43 of Wheeling was captured a few blocks away, but continued to resist arrest and fight with the officers.

Perrine is now charged with two counts of obstructing an officer and fleeing. Additionally, he was arrested for being a fugitive from justice in both Belmont County and Monroe County, Ohio. He was taken to the Northern Regional Jail pending a court arraignment.


Malicious Assault Arrest


Two people were arrested over the weekend after a domestic related - malicious assault incident on Wheeling Island.

Around 4:25 a.m., Saturday, Wheeling Police were called to the 500 block of South Huron Street for a report of a physical argument inside a home.

When officers arrived, they found two people fighting, and a man injured from a stab wound. Police were able to separate the two and get the victim medical treatment.

As a result of the incident, Mahoganny Marsha Hull, 35 of Wheeling was arrested and is charged with burglary and malicious assault. Also arrested was Terrance Timothy Belle, 37 of Wheeling. He is being charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

Both were later transported to the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville.

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Contact: pio@wheelingwv.gov


Wheeling Man Arrested After Injuring Highway Worker


A Wheeling man has been arrested and is facing several criminal charges after striking and injuring a maintenance worker late this morning on Mount deChantal Road.

Around 11:10 a.m. police were notified that a state highway worker was hit by a vehicle and was taken to Wheeling Hospital by a third party. When police responded to the area, witnesses told officers they were able to identify the make and model of the vehicle, which helped police find the driver and suspected vehicle in the 2100 block of Main Street.

Police believe Brandon Lamont Womack, 35 of Wheeling started operating a vehicle without permission in the Elm Grove area of the city, where he struck several signs on the Interstate 70 westbound on-ramp, and proceeded driving under the influence for several miles.

He continued driving west on I-70 and onto Mount deChantal Road where he struck a maintenance worker. He went on to strike another vehicle near Perkins and then struck and damaged a parking meter in Center Wheeling.

Womack was arrested by Wheeling Police officers and is facing the following misdemeanor charges:

  1. DUI with Bodily Injury
  2. Driving Revoked DUI
  3. Crash Involving a Personal Injury
  4. Leaving the Scene
  5. Possession of a Controlled Substance
  6. Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle
  7. Striking a Fixture

Additionally, Womack is facing two outstanding warrants. The first is for failure to appear on a domestic battery charge. The second is for violation of a protective order, 2nd offense.

Womack is currently in police custody. The maintenance worker injured was treated for non-life threatening injures and was released from the hospital.


WPD & Belmont County Sheriff's Office Launch Crimestoppers Program


Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger and Belmont County Sheriff David Lucas jointly launched a new local Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley Program on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. Crime Stoppers is a community program that allows citizens to provide anonymous information about criminal activity to help keep their neighborhoods and cities safe.

Cash rewards are given based on the confirmation of anonymous tips that lead to an arrest. Tips will only be received by calling 877-TIPS4US (877-847-7487) from a cell phone or landline.  No tips will be accepted through social media, the website, or email to keep the informant’s information confidential and anonymous.

“The ultimate goal is to make our communities safer,” explained Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger. “If we have major cases, major crimes, wanted fugitives- this is an opportunity for folks who always ask in this Valley, ‘How can we help you?’ - this is an opportunity for them to help us.  The program is not just for Wheeling and Belmont County.  It is for the entire region. The information that will be gathered and vetted and followed up is information that will benefit the entire upper Ohio Valley. We are happy to do it. We are proud of the partnerships with many organizations including non-profits and local law enforcement.  This is going to be a very successful program,” Chief Schwertfeger said.

“Belmont County and the Wheeling Police Department have a very good working relationship from civic collaborations like Operation Toy Lift and now we will be working together on Crime Stoppers,” added Belmont County Sheriff David Lucas.  “We jumped on this new partnership right away when the police chief asked. The criminals think the river is like a fort.  They will come over and commit crimes in Wheeling and come back over into Ohio, and vice versa.  By law enforcement working together, we are going to stop that. Criminals that think they can use the river as a barricade, it’s going to stop,” concluded Sheriff Lucas.

The program will be administered by a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit.  Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley, P.O. Box 190, Wheeling, WV 26003.  Please make checks payable to Crime Stoppers UOV.  Donations may also be made electronically through the website at crimestoppersuov.com.

Local citizens can stay informed of reported crimes and general information by following Crime Stoppers Upper Ohio Valley on their website and Facebook and Instagram sites.  General questions can be answered at 304.907.9373 or by emailing info@crimestoppersuov.com.


WPD Launches New Crime Mapping Web Site


Wheeling residents will now be able to see when and where crime is happening throughout the city, thanks to the launch of the police department’s new online crime mapping system. The new web site unveiling provides the community an enhanced opportunity to be kept informed.

Crime reports that will be visible to the public include robbery, burglary, traffic related incidents, property crimes and violent crimes. Sex offenders also can be located on the site.

In the interest of public safety and victim privacy, the following crime reports will NOT be visible to the public: incidents involving juveniles, sex crimes, family violence, information involving or is sensitive to an ongoing investigation.

Addresses to all incidents will show a general area, and not a specific address for privacy.

Additionally, if residents and businesses wish to register their household for having a surveillance system to help police fight crime, the option exists. Police are not asking to have access to the system internally, but to simply be aware there is a camera in a certain area should a crime happen. This tool will allow both police and the neighborhood to work together by viewing cameras in the area during an investigation. This is an option and is not required when visiting the site.

Steps to view the Wheeling Map are:

  1. www.wheelingwv.gov/crimemap
  2. On your computer or mobile phone, ZOOM IN to the area of interest and icons will then appear.
  3. When you click on those icons, the type of incident, time and date will appear on the left.
  4. FILTERS: You can also expand the time and types of incidents and see sex offenders and their addresses clicking on “Filters” – located in the upper left corner. Just set the time frame, date and types of incidents.
  5. SEX OFFENDERS: Under the filter tab, checkmark the ‘view registered sex offenders’ to see addresses.

For the Security Camera registration (voluntary not required):

  1. Go to www.wheelingwv.gov/crimemap
  2. On the top of the page – click “register my camera”
  3. Then go to “participating agencies” at the top and select “Wheeling Police Department”
  4. After selecting our city, follow the prompts to register your camera.

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Contact: John Wroten, Crime Analyst
Phone: 304-214-5700