MINGO COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – A woman accused of pushing the Mingo County Sheriff at a basketball game appeared in court today, Friday, Feb. 3.
According to court records, Taylor Napier of Logan County took a guilty plea in Mingo County Magistrate Court today. She was charged with battery and disorderly conduct after allegedly pushing Mingo County Sheriff Joe Smith at the Tug Valley High School vs. Logan High School basketball game on Jan. 7, 2023.
Smith says Napier paid a fine and will not be allowed at any Tug Valley games for one year. She will not serve any jail time, court records say.
Following the incident, Napier claimed her actions were in self-defense.
In a video from D&D Sports Network, Sheriff Smith can be seen walking around the gym and eventually moving from the Tug Valley side to the Logan County side. As Smith approached the Logan County side, Napier can be seen going towards him and pushing him.
According to the criminal complaint, Smith, who was in street clothes, and another officer were attempting to calm an argument that started between a student from Tug Valley High School and a Logan County fan.
13 News spoke with Napier after the incident and she says that she didn’t know Smith was the sheriff since he was not wearing a uniform and said she was acting quickly trying to prevent what she thought was a violent situation.
Smith told WOWK 13 News he was on the basketball court about five or six minutes before the incident happened and did make himself known as the sheriff to all officials and coaches on the floor.
He also claims he was asked by the principal of Tug Valley High School if he would stand in front of their pep section as the tension between the fans escalated. When a student on the Tug Valley side of the gym and a fan on the Logan County side started to yell and then walked toward each other, he says he ejected the student and was going over to remove the Logan County fan when he was caught off guard by Napier.