RAVENSWOOD, WV (WOWK) — A high-speed chase led police officers from Ravenswood all the way down to Kanawha County Thursday evening.
While no one was killed, it did leave a police officer with minor injuries and his cruiser destroyed.
It began with a traffic stop at the Ravenswood Speedway around 8:30 p.m., that’s when the suspect took off, taking the officers on a wild ride on Interstate 77.
Ravenswood Mayor Joshua Miller says Officer Abel with the Ravenswood Police Department is lucky to have walked away from the crash with only burn marks from the airbags.
“I went to the hospital, sat there with him for a little bit, and made sure he was OK,” said Miller.
Officer Abel is one of only 10 police officers at the Ravenswood Police Department.
As he was chasing the suspect he got a flat tire, according to Police Chief Lance Morrison.
The suspect is 27-year old George Langford Cherry, who had a non-extraditable warrant in Ohio.
Chief Morrison says he drove through a restaurant and an employee called the police department saying he had drugs in his car.
“While he was fleeing out of town he was swerving in and out of oncoming traffic, forcing vehicles off the road, at times was slamming on the breaks trying to get officers to hit him,” said Morrison.
Cherry took officers from Ripley, Jackson County, Ravenswood, and Kanawha on a more than a 40-mile chase at speeds reaching 118 mph.
Morisson says Cherry eventually ran out of gas, exited on Tupper Creek Road, and took off on foot where his officers were able to tackle him.
He says it’s not the first time a fugitive comes to West Virginia.
“Probably some of these suspects believe that they can come to West Virginia into a rural area and probably hide but we have officers who have been trained in different things and work to remove these people from the streets and I think we’ve been successful,” he said.
Mayor Miller wants people to know that first responders put their lives on the line every day.
“That’s the thing I keep telling folks about first responders or officers, any traffic stop could be your last and they have to always be on guard.”
Along with Cherry, there were three other people in the vehicle, which included a 2-year-old child.
Cherry is in custody and awaiting his arraignment in Kanawha County.