Chapmanville Police Cpl. Lee Preece Jr. responded to a call about a fight on Tomblin Drive and found two men fighting when they got there.
Cpl. Preece pulled one of the participants in the fight away, handcuffed and placed him in the back of the cruiser.
Brian M. Litteral, 35, the other man involved in the fight began screaming and threatening to kill several people in the area. The officer took him by the arm, then handcuffed him and sat him on the ground near the driver’s door of the cruiser.
As the Cpl. Preece was trying to speak with witnesses, Litteral started yelling he was going to kill one of the witnesses and cursed multiple people gathered around.
The officer approached the suspect, telling him to be quiet and stop yelling. The suspect refused, yelled louder, became combative and kicked the officer’s door shut.
Cpl. Preece deployed Oleoresin Capsicum, O.C. gas and capsicum spray, also known as pepper spray, which hit the suspect’s face. Preece called the 9-1-1 center and requested EMS.
As Cpl. Preece attempted once again to question witnesses, the suspect’s girlfriend approached him, also yelling and screaming. He ordered her to leave multiple times so he could conduct his investigation, but she refused. She was ordered to sit on the ground, but refused, forcing the officer to take her by the arm and sit her on the ground beside Litteral.
Once EMS arrived, Cpl. Preece was able to complete his investigation. Witnesses told him Litteral was the aggressor to another victim moments before the altercation in progress when the officer arrived. Statements both written and oral say Litteral started that altercation, then approached the other victim aggressively and hit him, which led to the physical struggle involving both men.
Litteral was placed in the back seat of the cruiser, still threatening to kill some of the people involved.
Cpl. Preece transported Litteral to the Chapmanville Police Department and were followed by EMS, who flushed his eyes to relieve the effects of the pepper spray.
Litteral was arrested and charged with two counts of assault, two counts of battery, public intoxication, obstructing, disorderly conduct and destruction of property.
Additional charges for at least one of the others involved may be filed once the investigation is complete.