Bluefield man charged with battery for alleged fight at Mercer fitness…

By SAMANTHA PERRY

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — A Bluefield man has been arrested for battery after an alleged skirmish at a Mercer County fitness facility.

Jeffery Paul James, 25, of Bluefield, was arrested Monday on a battery charge that stemmed from a December 2018 incident at Planet Fitness during which James allegedly put another man “in a chokehold” and attempted “to strangle him,” according to a criminal complaint filed in Mercer County Magistrate Court.

The complaint, filed by West Virginia State Police Trooper J.S. Van Meter, states the victim, Chase Glass, came to the State Police detachment in December to report “ongoing altercations” with James.

The victim first detailed an October 2018 incident at Sheetz on Courthouse Road during which the victim alleges James “tried to hit him through the window of his vehicle.” The criminal complaint states, “The victim stated that he got out of his vehicle at which time they got into a physical altercation.”

The complaint then details a second incident that occurred at a Mercer Mall fitness center in December 2018.

In the criminal complaint, the victim states that he was finishing his workout when he saw the defendant talking with three individuals.

“The victim stated he went to go change in the locker room and leave, at which time the defendant came behind him and proceeded to put him in a chokehold in [sic] attempt to strangle him,” Van Meter stated in the criminal complaint. “The victim stated that his arms and legs went numb two … to three .. times while in the chokehold. The victim stated that the fight proceeded to the treadmill area of the gym where the victim ended up on his back.”

The victim alleges that after the fight the defendant “looked at him and stated, ‘look me in the eyes, if you follow me I will shoot you,’ ” the criminal complaint states. The victim then told authorities that he was shown a photograph from another individual of “a semi automatic pistol that the defendant posted on Snapchat” around 8:30 p.m.

“A video of the altercation was given to this trooper by the victim,” Van Meter states in the criminal complaint, explaining that he was told it was recorded by a witness. “This video shows the defendant have the victim in a chokehold and slamming him against the lockers inside of Planet Fitness. The defendant takes the victim outside of the locker room while still having the victim in a chokehold and takes him to the ground on top of the treadmills. The victim attempts multiple times to get off of the ground, however the defendant continues to keep the victim in a chokehold on the treadmills.”

James was arraigned on the battery charge Monday before Mercer County Magistrate Sandra Dorsey. He was given a $500 personal recognizance bond.

Battery is a misdemeanor offense carrying a penalty of less than one year in jail.

— Contact Samantha Perry at sperry@bdtonline.com.


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