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Standoff in Newtown ends, no gunfire
Incident begins when suspect tailgates officer
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A 45-minute standoff at the Dollar General in Newtown ended without gunfire Thursday afternoon, but the suspect faces four charges after a bizarre series of events.
Barry West, 55, was taken into custody by deputies and has been charged with reckless driving, disorderly conduct, simple possession of marijuana, and resisting arrest.
“He put up resistance as he was being taken into custody, but there were no shots fired,” said Sheriff Jackie Matheny. West had a gun in his vehicle at the time.
The incident began Thursday around noon when a Sheriff’s Department officer was transporting a person to Warren County Jail. For reasons unknown, West reportedly drove up very closely behind the transporting officer and began honking his horn and flashing his lights.
Thinking there might be an urgent problem, the officer pulled over near the airport on the new four-lane to Woodbury. When both vehicles were stopped, West approached the officer and didn’t seem to be speaking coherently. When asked to get back in his vehicle, West did just that and reportedly took off spinning his tires in front of the officer.
West was followed a short distance to the Dollar General store in Newtown which is where the situation escalated.
“When the officer approached, he saw a gun in his seat,” said Sheriff Matheny. “He refused to get out of his vehicle or show his hands. It probably lasted for 45 or 50 minutes.”
With officers saturating the area, West finally agreed to talk with investigator Steven Carpenter, who had handled a previous case involving him in January. Carpenter talked West into leaving his vehicle, but Matheny said he put up a fight while he was being arrested.
The previous incident involving West happened in January when he was arrested from his own bed by deputies, tased, and taken to jail.
In an odd coincidence, West contacted the Standard this Wednesday wanting to explain his side of that story. West admits he did get frustrated when deputies came to arrest him from his bed, but only because they would not let him use the bathroom.
“I was in bed when they came to get me,” said West, who was being picked up for breaking into a home and using the owner’s hot tub without permission. “I had just woken up so I asked to use the bathroom. I think it’s natural for most people to use the bathroom when they get out of bed. But they told me I wasn’t going to the bathroom. I was going to jail.”
West said he did get angry when told he could not use the bathroom because he didn’t think he could hold it till he got to jail. He said he stumbled getting out of bed and that’s when deputies became aggressive.
“I’ve had three neck surgeries and three back surgeries,” said West. “I lost my balance and when I did one of the deputies hollered ‘Resisting arrest’ and that’s when I was tased.”
The skirmish in his bedroom led to a resisting arrest charge against West. That accompanies the burglary charge which was leveled for the alleged hot tub incident.
West is due in court for preliminary hearing this Tuesday, Feb. 21.