NICHOLAS CO., WV (WOAY-TV) – A local man died Wednesday while in the custody of two Nicholas County Sheriff’s Deputies.
According to a news release sent to WOAY from the Nicholas County Sheriff’s Office, around 9:30 a.m., the 911 Center received several calls about a man walking in traffic along Route 19 in the Powell’s Mountain area between Birch River and the scenic overlook.
Forty three-year-old Jeremy Bennett allegedly had his shirt off and was waving it around – dodging cars. A number of drivers thought he was acting strangely and made the call to 911.
Sergeants Bobby Holdren and Johnny Evans responded to the call. We’re told they asked Bennett what he was doing and tried to get him to stay off Route 19 but he continued to act erratically.
The sheriff’s office says the deputies had to chase Bennett down in traffic and get him into the median.
It’s reported he started wrestling with the deputies at some point and tried to grab one of their guns. They then tazed Bennett and handcuffed him but we’re told at some point after the arrest, he became unresponsive. The deputies called for an ambulance and started CPR. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
The deputies report that they think Bennett was intoxicated by an unknown substance causing him to act erratically.
The two deputies had to be taken to the hospital because they got splattered with blood.
The incident is still under investigation.