Officer Butch gets his man
Michael Alan Waugh, 29,
of Wilkes Street was cornered by K-9 Officer Butch on
the back porch of a vacant house after fleeing on foot
and leading Berkeley
Springs Police on an extended chase.
The incident started Octo-ber 12 at 6:09 p.m. after
Corporal Craig Pearrell responded to a 911 call for a domestic dispute. The 911 center reported the call was coming from 376 Wilkes Street.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Magis-
trate Court, the caller told
the 911 operator that a
woman came crying and screaming across the street asking for help. Both Pear-rell, driving the K-9 patrol vehicle, and Officer Richard Haynes in another patrol
car responded to the call.
According to the criminal complaint, the female victim told police that Waugh had taken some of her grandmother's rings. When she tried to get them back, Waugh twisted her arm and threw her to the ground. Pearrell stated in the complaint that he observed red marks on the woman's arm.
After learning that the female and her four children lived at 363 Wilkes Street, Pearrell went to the address and tried to contact Waugh. Waugh went through a back window and ran into the woods behind the residence.
According to the criminal complaint, Pearrell yelled for the suspect to come out of the woods and got no response.
At that point, Pearrell got the K-9 Officer out of the police vehicle and commanded Butch to track the suspect. Haynes stayed with the victim and her four small children in front of the residence.
Butch led Pearrell up into the woods. Pearrell stated in the complaint that he could hear the suspect running through the woods and yelled for the suspect to stop. Again, there was no response.
After following the trail through the woods for some time, Butch made a U-turn and led Pearrell back to a vacant residence at 436 Wilkes Street.
According to the complaint, Pearrell saw the suspect look out the front door of the house and then turn and run toward the back of the residence. Pearrell yelled three times for Waugh to come out of the house, but got no response.
On command, Butch led Pearrell to the back porch of the house where the suspect was located. Butch cornered the suspect, but was called off by Pearrell who commanded the dog to a "down and guard" position.
The suspect was handcuffed, searched and placed under arrest by Pearrell. Haynes was then called to the scene and transported Waugh to the Berkeley Springs Police Department for processing.
Waugh was charged with Fleeing – No Vehicle and Domestic Violence – Battery, both misdemeanors. He was released after posting bail.
"Calls for domestic disturbances can be very dangerous," Police Chief James Minton said. "Often time's weapons are involved and police officers have been assaulted."
"Butch did another outstanding job tracking and assisting in the apprehension of the suspect. Butch is such a great asset to the police department," Minton said.