On October 23, an officer with the Morgantown Police Department was conducting a security check of North High Street in the area of Prospect Street. A Subaru Legacy failed to come to a stop at that intersection and nearly struck the officer’s patrol vehicle. A traffic stop was then conducted. When the officer approached the vehicle and asked for the driver’s information he was argumentative and refused to provide any information. The driver then shifted his vehicle into gear, the officer grabbed the window and ordered the driver to stop but he accelerated and fled the scene, traveling against traffic on North Spruce Street.
Another officer of the Morgantown Police Department was already en route to the traffic stop when they observed the vehicle turning from North Spruce Street onto Willey Street. At this time the officer activated their emergency lights and siren in an attempt to stop the fleeing vehicle. The vehicle continued up Willey Street and passed a stopped school bus that was actively dropping off young children. As the vehicle was passing the school bus multiple children had to jump out of its path. With assistance from the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department, officers of the Morgantown Police Department pursued the vehicle until they were able to box it in on Locust Avenue.
The suspect, Stephen Thomas Cox., a 26-year-old resident of the Morgantown area, was charged with Fleeing in a vehicle with reckless disregard for the safety of others, improper passing, driving against traffic, driving left of center, failure to yield, failure to stop for a school bus, prohibited use of a cell phone, reckless driving and driving on a suspended license. He also had an outstanding capias through Monongalia County for burglary. Cox will be arraigned in Monongalia County Magistrate Court where his bond will be set.