Man escapes police in high speed chase; arrested after being caught shoplifting the same day

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A man who led a sheriff’s deputy on a high-speed chase that ended with the suspect crashing his vehicle in Monday’s early morning hours was arrested later that day for shoplifting at T.J. Maxx.

Nicholas Scott Gifford, 28, of Morgantown, is charged with recklessly fleeing from an officer, battery on a law enforcement officer, obstructing an officer and fleeing from an officer. He is being held in North Central Regional Jail in lieu of $19,100 bond.

Monday morning a Monongalia County Sheriff’s Deputy spotted Gifford driving a blue Kia Sportage on Grafton Road. Gifford’s driver’s license is suspended for DUI and he was wanted for multiple felonies, according to court documents.

The deputy attempted to stop Gifford as he left the Go Mart on Grafton Road. Gifford stopped for about ten seconds before speeding away, a criminal complaint stated.

Chief Deputy Al Kisner said the chase started at 3:36 a.m.

Gifford traveled down Don Knotts Boulevard at more than 110 mph, serving and almost hitting several cars while passing them, the complaint said. It stated Gifford almost rolled multiple times.

Still going nearly 100 mph, he attempted to make a quick right onto Callen Avenue – the street that shoots up toward First Ward off of Don Knotts Boulevard.

Gifford wrecked on Callen Avenue and ran away on foot. Kisner said deputies investigated an open door at the Morgantown Utility Board’s water treatment plant off of Don Knotts, but did not find Gifford. The call was ended at 4:52 a.m.

Later that day, Granville Police responded to a shoplifting call at T.J. Maxx in University Towne Centre. An officer attempted to arrest Gifford but he ran and tried to take his clothes off to escape.

Gifford punched an officer and attempted to get across the parking lot, according to a complaint. Officers told Gifford to stop resisting but he did not. He was “eventually taken into custody.”

Story by William Dean

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