COALTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – At approximately 7:00pm on Thursday, authorities responded to a 911 dispatch regarding an incident at Bennett Loop Road in which a man was involved in an altercation with 3 other males.
According to reports from Deputy Pingley with the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office who responded to the situation, the caller, a female, stated that her boyfriend informed 911 that her boyfriend was involved with a fight with three other men and that the situation was escalating.
Responding to the location, Deputy Pingley encountered a white pickup truck while en route attempting to exit Bennett Loop Road.
Stopping and speaking with the individuals inside Pingley asked if they had been involved in the incident which took place, to which they responded in the negative and advised that it was still ongoing.
Continuing to the location, Pingley was informed by 911 that the males involved had in fact left the scene in the truck he had just passed.
The truck was stopped near the 151 intersection by officers with the West Virginia State Police who detained the individual.
Later, it would be determined that the driver of the vehicle was the neighbor of the caller, and that his child had been struck by a BB.
Speaking to the caller, it was revealed that the caller and neighbor’s children had been playing together in the yard and on the trampoline.
The caller stated that one of neighbors’ kids, a 7 year old, had run into the line of fire while the caller’s boyfriend, Tyler Garner, was shooting a BB gun into the woods.
This understandably resulted in a tense situation during which the father of the 7 year old juvenile approached the neighbor who had been shooting the gun and an altercation ensued.
Speaking with juvenile who had been hit and his mother, Deputy Pingley was advised by the juvenile that Mr. Garner had actively pointed the BB gun at him and another child, a 5 year old, and had shot at them multiple times.
Further, the juvenile stated that he had not run into Mr. Garner’s line of fire.
Notably, the original caller failed to inform 911 that her own son, the 5 year old juvenile, had also been shot.
The 7 year old exhibited a noticeable welt on his left collarbone, and photos were taken.
The police report points out that the child was fortunate not to have been struck in the face, which could have led to serious injury or death.
Deputy Pingley spoke with the original caller once more, and located a Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun on the property which was taken as evidence.
The weapon was identified to be single-shot lever action.
Mr. Garner himself was brought out, and advised that the kids had run into his line of fire.
He also stated that the 5 year old juvenile had not been struck. However, this statement was not corroborated by the juvenile himself, who advised he had in fact been hit.
Lifting his shirt, the 5 year old was seen to exhibit a welt consistent with BB contact near his hip/rib cage.
The report indicates the danger of contact in this area due to proximity to the juvenile’s genital area.
Deputy Pingley indicates that while a single juvenile having been mistakenly struck by a BB may be plausible, that two having been struck in such a brief span would be highly unlikely.
The single-lever action of the weapon – it requires cocking and reloading after each shot before it can be fired again – played a role in the determination of the charges issued.
Pingley reports that Garner would be classified as a parent/guardian to the 5 year old and the adult responsible for the maintenance of the childrens’ well-being in this situation.
Furthermore, “Garner made the decision to unlawfully commit an act that places another in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving violent injury with his negligent use of firing the Daisy Red Ryder BB against the 7 year old.”
Tyler Garner was arrested for child neglect creating risk of injury and unlawful assault, and was transported to Tygart Valley Regional Jail.
Additional LOOTPRESS crime coverage can be found here.