Deputy cleared in Runyon shooting case
February 27, 2010 @ 12:00 AM
HUNTINGTON, WV --The investigation into the use of force involving a Cabell County Sheriff's Deputy during the early morning hours of Feb. 15 has concluded with the deputy involved cleared of any wrongdoing.
Cabell County Sheriff's Deputy A.S. Cremeans II was determined to have fired the shot at Jeremy Runyon during a foot-chase Runyon led he and another deputy on that ended in the 500 block of 41/2 Alley.
According to the investigation, conducted by the Cabell County Sheriff's Department, Huntington Police Department and West Virginia State Police, the suspect moved aggressively toward the deputy and was approximately nine feet away when the deputy struck the suspect in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen. The report said the deputy "feared for his life." Runyon was not armed. He survived the wound.
On Jan. 15, an arrest order was issued by the Cabell County Circuit Court for Runyon for violating conditions of his bond on an underlying felony third-offense domestic violence charge. Runyon's background includes two prior felony convictions and charges that involve physical violence and aggravated assault. Court documents provided by the Sheriff's Office indicated Runyon was wanted for failing to appear in court. The order and companion arrest warrant were filed Jan. 15, after Runyon failed to appear at a bond revocation hearing.
A deputy sheriff assigned to the C.U.F.F.E.D. Task Forces, Deputy First Class W.D. Enochs began attempts to locate and arrest Runyon, including conducting a check of Runyon's background and criminal history, speaking with Runyon's associates and checking his known or suspected residences.
On the evening of Feb. 14, the investigating deputy received information that Runyon would be at a business in the 100 block of 4th Avenue the next morning as well as what type of vehicle he would be driving. On the morning of Feb. 15, Enochs briefed Deputy Cremeans and Deputy M.R. Siebel regarding Runyon's charges and criminal history. They positioned themselves to observe the business on 4th Avenue and observed Runyon arrive and enter the business. The officers exited their vehicles and positioned themselves to apprehend Runyon as he exited the facility.
As Runyon exited, the officers identified themselves and advised him not to move and that he was under arrest. Runyon immediately fled the area on foot, and a chase ensued. The chase ended in the 500 block of 41/2 Alley when the suspect ran into a backyard with no escape route.
Deputy Cremeans was able to keep pace with Runyon and was at the entrance to the backyard when Runyon turned and confronted Cremeans. After drawing his weapon, the deputy ordered Runyon to remove his hand from his pocket and stay where he was. Runyon advanced toward the deputy, refusing to comply with his commands. Again, Cremeans advised Runyon to stop advancing and show his hands.
Witnesses in the area at the time confirmed the verbal exchange between Cremeans and Runyon.
Cremeans, whose name was not released at the time of the shooting, was placed on administrative leave as a matter of protocol pending outcome of the investigation. At the conclusion of an investigation with no signs of wrongdoing, deputies placed on leave are provided with counseling and may return to work once they are emotionally and psychologically prepared to do so. Counseling is necessary, according to a prior statement by Cabell County Sheriff Tom McComas, because events such as those surrounding the chase and capture of Runyon can be unnerving for deputies.