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TWILIGHT — A sergeant with the Boone County Sheriff’s office stopped a copper theft in progress on Oct. 6, according to a criminal complaint.

Steven Julius Braskey, 42, of Raleigh County, was charged with grand larceny, prohibited person in possession of a firearm and fleeing in relation to an incident that occurred in the Twilight area of Boone County on property owned by Lexington Coal Company.

In a report prepared by Sgt. B.G. Browning, he arrived at the scene where employees of the mine said two men who were stealing copper were hiding behind an ATV about 100 yards off of the main haul road.

The report states that as the officer approached the vehicle, two suspects rode away on the ATV and the officer was able to track their location and hide behind a tree, monitoring their movements.

He observed the men remove a piece of copper from the ATV and attempt to cut it into smaller pieces with a reciprocating saw, which allowed the officer to move closer.

The report states that when the vehicle was headed in the direction of the officer with only one suspect riding it, it accelerated and struck the officer with the ATV.

After hitting a tree, the vehicle came to a stop and according to the report, the officer “pulled the defendant from the four-wheeler and took him to the ground” while simultaneously looking for the second subject.

According to the report, the accused reached for the officer’s taser twice, and after verbal commands to stop, the officer struck him in the face.

The report states that the accused refused to give or show the officer his left hand and after “ordering him to show me his hand several times” the officer struck the man again in the face.

The complaint states that the officer did secure the accused’s hand and handcuffed him.

After searching the accused, the report states, the officer found a loaded pistol in a rear pants pocket and a knife in his right hip pocket.

Cpl. T.A. Graley transported the accused, and the report states that Sgt. Browning processed the scene in an unsuccessful attempt to locate the second man but did recover the ATV used in the crime.

The report further stated that the 81 feet 6 inches of copper was valued at $2,700 and four copper connection bars were valued at $310 and three clinch locks at $135.

During processing, the complaint states, the accused gave officers the incorrect middle name and Social Security number, and officers learned that he was a felon.

As of press time, Braskey was held at Southwestern Regional Jail on an $80,000 bond.

Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at 304-307-2401.

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