FAIRMONT - A 33-year-old Fairmont man, Joshua Brenon Smitherman, faces gross misdemeanor charges of third-degree driving while impaired, refusal to test and resisting arrest.
According to information from the Fairmont Police Department:
Around 7 a.m. Sunday, police were dispatched to assist with an ambulance call on Ward Street. When police arrived, a man was outside standing by a vehicle with a broken mirror. The man told a police officer he heard the crash and saw a van stop to look at the damage, but the van left when the man came out of the house.
As police assisted with the ambulance call, an officer saw a van matching the man's description sitting in a driveway on South Hampton Street, near the end of Ward Street. It was noted the driveway was at the residence registered to Smitherman on his predatory offender information, and a man the officer was able to identify as Smitherman was out looking at the front of the van.
The officer attempted to make contact with Smitherman, but Smitherman stepped backward into his garage and was hiding his hands. The officer approached and could smell alcohol coming from Smitherman. Smitherman is on probation and one of his release conditions is not to be consuming alcohol.
When the officer attempted to take Smitherman into custody for the conditional release violation, Smitherman became belligerent and fought the officer. An additional officer was needed to take Smitherman into custody, and Smitherman was threatening the arresting officers with lawsuits and physical harm.
At the law enforcement center, Smitherman continued to behave in a belligerent manner and refused to submit to an alcohol breath test. While he did admit he should not have hidden his hands from the officer, Smitherman refused to answer any more questions. He was later taken to a detox center.
Smitherman faces charges of third-degree driving while impaired, refusal to test and obstructing the legal process with a police officer. All are gross misdemeanors with maximum penalties of a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.