(08/31/2006)
Man who led police on chase still sought

By David Hedges, Publisher
Times Record-Roane County Reporter
www.thetimesrecord.net

Authorities are still looking for a Nicholas County man who led police on a chase in Kanawha and Roane counties last week.

After the pursuit entered Roane County last Tuesday night, the suspect allegedly rammed his truck into a Clendenin police cruiser before Patrolman Chad Shafer fired 10 times into the truck cab, Clendenin Police Chief Michael Dibbs said.

The man driving the truck was identified as Stephen Porter Cogar, 49, a Nicholas County man Dibbs said was wanted for making methamphetamine while on parole.

Trooper F.L. Hammack of the State Police detachment in Spencer said the 1989 Ford pickup was found abandoned on Myers Hollow near Newton, not far from where the shots were fired. He said it was not known if any of the shots struck Cogar, who still had not been located a week later.

Hammack said State Police from Roane, Calhoun, Clay and Kanawha counties were called to assist at 9:48 p.m.

The incident began a short time earlier when Cogar struck Shafer in the shoulder outside the Clendenin Speedway, Dibbs said. He said Shafer was walking past Cogar and said "Hello" before Cogar hit him.

He said after the confrontation in Clendenin, Cogar fled on I-79 and turned off on the Amma exit in Roane County.

The chase continued down Amma and Big Sandy roads before Cogar stopped at the intersection with W.Va. 36, just west of Newton.

When Cogar came to a stop, Hammack said Shafer got out of his cruiser before Cogar put his truck into reverse and slammed into the car, disabling it.

"This guy just threw it into reverse and tried to run over the officer," Hammack said.

Hammack said Shafer then fired his weapon several times into the cab of the truck.

As troopers from four counties and a Roane sheriff's deputy were responding, the truck fled the scene.

After the truck was found Hammack said a dog was brought in to help with the search for Cogar, which continued until 3:30 a.m. without success.

Hammack is charging Cogar with attempted murder, along with fleeing from an officer, destruction of property and leaving the scene of an accident. He also will be charged with improper registration in connection with a stolen renewal sticker police said was on the truck's license plate.

Hammack said Cogar has a violent history and should be considered dangerous.

"We don't know if he's armed or not," Hammack said.

A complete description of the suspect was not available, although Hammack said he was a white male weighing approximately 185 lbs.

Hammack said anyone who encounters Cogar or knows his whereabouts should call 911.


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