RANDOLPH COUNTY, WV (LOOTPRESS) – One man has been arrested after stealing a bike from Walmart and then fleeing from police.
According to the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, on Thursday, November 16th, 2023, Randolph County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to the area of the Beverly 5 lane regarding a reported bicycle theft.
Walmart employees advised Randolph E-911 that a male subject wearing a blaze orange jacket had stolen a bicycle and fled from the Elkins Walmart on the bicycle after being confronted and reportedly told one Walmart employee to chase him.
Law Enforcement observed Richard Manuel AKA Opie wearing a blaze orange jacket and walking along the Beverly 5 Lane towards Walmart just prior to these events being reported.
While patrolling the Beverly 5 lane, law enforcement observed Richard Manuel traveling northbound near the area of the Elkins Motor Sports shop.
Mr. Manuel was riding a mountain bike with what appeared to be an owner’s manual and tag still attached to the bicycle seat and was wearing an orange jacket. A video was obtained of Mr. Manuel riding the bike.
Emergency lights were activated in an attempt to stop Mr. Manuel as he approached law enforcement.
However, Mr. Manuel looked directly at law enforcement before standing up on the bike and beginning to pedal away quickly, crossing all 5 lanes of traffic as oncoming vehicles approached.
Mr. Manuel then rode past a locked gate. Mr. Manuel continued into the woods on a dirt path, but not before stopping to look back again in an apparent attempt to see if law enforcement was still behind him.
Law enforcement continued on foot behind Mr. Manuel and reached the end of the path where Mr. Manuel had disposed of the bike and continued to flee on foot into the wooded area behind the Super 8 hotel.
Manuel then crossed a creek, where he was observed crawling up an embankment on his hands and knees before diving behind a fallen tree in an attempt to hide while still wearing the blaze orange jacket.
The defendant was located, placed in hand restraints, and transported to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail where he remains on a $1,000 cash-only bond.
The mountain bike was returned to the Elkins Walmart. The value of the mountain bike is approximately $298.