A Wilmington man is in custody after police said he “used his vehicle as a weapon” in the Washington C.H. Burger King parking lot Thursday night by striking a police cruiser that was occupied by an officer in an attempt to escape from authorities.
At approximately 8:20 p.m., a Washington Police Department officer made a traffic stop due to the vehicle not displaying a front license plate. The vehicle pulled into Burger King, 1666 Columbus Ave., and the officer made contact with the driver — identified as Joseph W. West.
A check on West’s driving status, along with a wants and warrants check, revealed West had an active arrest warrant issued by the Adult Parole Authority with a nationwide pick-up radius, according to reports. Another officer arrived on the scene and police advised West to exit the vehicle because he was under arrest.
West then allegedly grabbed the gear shifter, put the vehicle into drive and began to flee. As the vehicle took off, one of the officers busted the driver’s side window. West drove the vehicle toward the rear of the business, jumped a curb and struck an officer’s vehicle while the officer was inside, reports said.
At this time, West’s vehicle was pinned in by patrol cars and he was ordered from the vehicle. He reportedly moved from the driver’s seat to the rear passenger side seat and refused to exit the vehicle.
Police then broke the rear window, removed West from the vehicle and arrested him, according to reports. No officers were reported injured.
During a search of West and his vehicle, several knives were found on West’s person and inside the passenger’s compartment. West was taken to Fayette County Memorial Hospital emergency room for ear pain and was medically cleared. After his clearance, he was transported to the Fayette County Jail where he is being held on a $55,000 bond.
West is charged with felonious assault (a first-degree felony), carrying concealed weapons (a fourth-degree felony), failure to comply (a first-degree misdemeanor), the Adult Parole Authority warrant, and traffic violations.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352.