(03/18/2020)
A Calhoun County man is facing multiple charges after he led police on a chase while under the influence of alcohol in Harrison County.

On March 13, officers with the Clarksburg Police Department observed a dark blue Ford Mustang being driven on Hamill Avenue near North 19th Street in Clarksburg with no functional brake lights, according to a criminal complaint. Officers said they got behind the vehicle and activated their emergency lights and siren to initiate a traffic stop.

The complaint stated that the driver of the Mustang, who was later identified as John Snyder, 51, of Big Springs, West Virginia, stopped at a stop sign, then proceeded through it slowly before he quickly accelerated to flee. Police said Snyder ran every stop sign on Hamill Avenue between North 18th Street and North 14th Street, where he turned right and proceeded to West Virginia Avenue. Officers said Snyder ran two more stop signs before he got on Route 50 and began traveling westbound.

Police said Snyder continued to accelerate his vehicle, reaching speeds of more than 90 miles per hour. Officers also said that Snyder swerved in the traffic lanes, straddled the lane lines and "quickly and recklessly" approached and passed other vehicles on the roadway, showing no regard for their safety.

The complaint stated that when a Harrison County Sheriff's Deputy joined the pursuit at the Wilsonburg exit on Route 50, Snyder quickly swerved and exited Route 50 onto Wilsonburg Road, nearly striking a vehicle in the process.

The complaint stated that Snyder continued to drive recklessly at a high rate of speed and struck a vehicle being driven by a female who had her juvenile daughter in car that was traveling in the opposite direction, causing damage to the vehicle. Officers said Snyder continued driving until he lost control of his vehicle, crashed through a fence and across a yard and then crashed into three parked vehicles, causing damage to them.

The complaint stated Snyder then exited the vehicle and fled from law enforcement on foot before being taken into custody. Police said there was a male passenger who remained in the vehicle following the crash who stated he asked Snyder to stop the vehicle and let him out, but Snyder refused.

The complaint stated that Snyder had red, bloodshot, watery eyes and had the odor of alcohol emitting from his breath. The complaint also stated that his speech was slow and slurred and sometimes mumbled. Police said a check of his vehicle revealed multiple large plastic beer bottles and an open package containing beer cans.

Officers said Snyder admitted to consuming “a couple of 40s” as well as smoking multiple marijuana “joints” and smoking methamphetamine prior to driving. Police said they attempted to administer field sobriety tests on Snyder, but after the first test, Snyder refused to continue and did not provide a breath sample. Officers said Snyder was then taken to United Hospital Center, where he provided a blood sample that will be evaluated by the West Virginia State Police Forensic Lab.

The complaint stated that a check revealed that Snyder currently had an active felony warrant for grand larceny, and that his license was actively revoked for multiple DUI offenses, as well as other violations. Additionally, the complaint stated officers were unable to locate an insurance card in the vehicle and that Snyder admitted that he had no insurance on the vehicle. Police said the vehicle was not registered to Snyder and that he stated he had bought it from a friend.

Snyder has been charged with fleeing while driving under the influence and fleeing with reckless indifference, according to court documents. He is currently being held at North Central Regional Jail. His bail has been set at $20,000.


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