Wheeling Police News Updates

News

Wheeling Police News Updates

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)


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.


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.


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.

 


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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.

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.


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 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


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%.

                                                                                                                                                                     


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.

 


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.


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


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.


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.