Man charged with auto theft after fleeing police

HELMSBURG — A Morgantown man faces felony auto theft and syringe possession charges after he allegedly stole a vehicle and fled on foot from police.

On May 10, Brown County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the area of South Shore Drive for a report of a stolen Ford Escape. The owner reported that she believed Paul Ford, 40, and another man had it.

Ford had a warrant out of Morgan County.

As Deputy Brian Shrader was driving on State Road 45 west of Lick Creek Road, he saw the Ford Escape directly in front of him. He followed it to the owner’s home, and Ford, who was driving, and another occupant exited the vehicle.

Shrader asked Ford to stop and then asked if he was Paul Ford. Ford nodded, then turned around and took off running, a probable cause affidavit said.

Shrader chased Ford through several back yards and jumped two fences, then headed across State Road 45 toward Lick Creek Road.

Shrader caught up with Ford behind a group of homes and ordered him to stop or he would use his stun gun. When Ford turned to run again, Shrader deployed his Taser.

Ford admitted to having methamphetamine in his boot.

An ambulance was called to treat him because a Taser prong was stuck in his hand.

Shrader searched Ford and discovered a syringe used to inject methamphetamine and a small package of marijuana in his right sock, according to the affidavit.

Deputy Chad Williams spoke with the other man in the vehicle, who said he believed Ford had permission to take the it and that the two were on the way back to the owner’s home when he found out they didn’t have permission.

Ford was charged May 12 with auto theft, a Level 6 felony; unlawful possession of a syringe, a Level 6 felony; resisting law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor; and possession of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor.