SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va.-- A South Charleston police officer was injured during a foot pursuit in the Rabel Mountain area just past Southridge Center.
South Charleston Lt. Robert Yeager said officers had been on the lookout for a stolen vehicle just before 3 p.m. Tuesday when Patrolman Ryan McFarland spotted the vehicle, a 1991 Dodge pickup, heading south on Corridor G.
McFarland followed the pickup and attempted to pull it over, but the truck speeded up.
The pursuit continued until the pickup, driven by Shane Hinzman, wrecked on private property off Rabel Mountain Road. Hinzman and his sister, Elizabeth Hinzman, bailed out of the truck and ran into the woods with McFarland on foot behind them.
Yeager said the officer chased the two and injured his ankle while in pursuit. McFarland managed to catch Elizabeth Hinzman before the injury prevented him from continuing the chase. Shane Hinzman continued to flee.
The lieutenant said additional South Charleston officers were following in support but lost contact with McFarland, who had only his hand radio unit.
"We didn't know where he was," Yeager said. "Once you put out on the radio that you've got a missing officer on a foot pursuit, everyone comes out from everywhere to help."
In addition to the South Charleston officers searching for McFarland and the alleged car thieves, officers from Dunbar, Charleston, the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department and the State Police turned out to help. Yeager said search teams used dogs and the State Police helicopter to assist in the search for the officer and the suspects.
They found McFarland with Elizabeth Hinzman in custody over a hillside in the wooded area. Kanawha County paramedics and firefighter from Davis Creek and Alum Creek helped carry the officer out of the woods. Yeager said McFarland's ankle was sprained and the officer would be on crutches until it healed.
Officers continued the search for Shane Hinzman until 5:30 p.m., when he came out of the woods on the other side of the mountain and was taken into custody.
Yeager said the brother and sister would be charged with grand larceny, fleeing causing bodily injury, fleeing in a vehicle, fleeing on foot and possession of a stolen vehicle.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service