OHIO COUNTY- (WTRF) – A police officer in Ohio County has been charged with three offenses, including false reporting.
Wheeling Police say they were dispatched to South Frazier Ave for a hit and run when two witnesses described a dark SUV losing control.
According to a police report, the SUV was traveling North Bound on South Frazier Ave and went over a curb and drove onto a yard, and struck two mailboxes and a utility pole. The vehicle then allegedly backed up and got back onto South Frazier Ave, leaving the scene, and turned onto Ark Ave.
The witnesses say in the police report that they saw a male get out of the vehicle and inspected the damage to the SUV, and went inside his home.
Wheeling police say they noticed pieces of plastic mailboxes and posts along the roadway and sections of the mailboxes strewn up the hill. They also say they saw a fluid trail leading to the point of impact.
Police say they went and located the SUV, which was turned off, and identified Rusty Jewell, a Bethlehem police officer.
According to police, Jewell said he was driving his SUV and hit a deer in front of his vehicle and wanted to report it.
When police told Jewell about the witnesses, police say Jewell denied the incident.
Police say Jewell appeared to be heavily intoxicated with alcohol on his breath, slurred speech, and stumbling while walking with disheveled clothes.
When asked where Jewell was coming from, police reported that Jewell was coming from the ‘Cave Club’ where he bartends.
Jewell was charged with false reporting, speed limitations, and duty upon striking fixtures upon a highway.
7News reached out to the Mayor of Bethlehem, Aaron Snider, regarding the charges, and Snider said he is aware of the charges. However, the village has no comment at this time because it’s still under investigation.