CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- An 80-year-old man spent three days in the hospital after he was dragged off his ATV and slammed to the concrete by a Cedar Grove police officer, witnesses say.
On Tuesday, Robert McComb was riding ATVs with his friends, Darrell Cole and Bobby Palmer, and was heading back to his house after coming out of the woods when he was stopped by a Cedar Grove police cruiser.
The police officer pulled up beside McComb's ATV and stopped.
"I think Bob thought he was trying to let us by, so he kept going," said Palmer, who was riding an ATV behind McComb. "I thought the same thing."
But when McComb kept driving, the officer in the cruiser, Johnny Walls, chased McComb down.
McComb was ahead of Palmer and Cole. When both men caught up to McComb and Walls, the officer was picking a bloody McComb off the ground.
Carrie Balser said she watched what happened to McComb in horror as she sat in her truck with her husband, Bruce.
She said Walls grabbed McComb, pulled him off of the side of the ATV and slammed him to the concrete face-first.
She said she and her husband got out of their truck when they realized it was McComb.
"What he [Walls] did was very horrific," she said. "He [McComb] hit so hard face-first in the concrete."
Carrie Balser said she tried to give a statement about what she saw to Cedar Grove police, but they refused to take it. She said she was told she had to give her statement to the chief - Johnny Walls.
Palmer said that when Walls stood McComb up, blood was dripping down McComb's face from a gash on his forehead.
"The skin was torn off his right arm and he was shaking like a leaf," Palmer said. "Bob didn't deserve what that cop did to him."
By that time, a crowd of people had gathered, Palmer said. He said that when he tried to approach Walls, the officer threatened to Taser him. Cole said Walls threatened to Taser anyone in the crowd who approached him.
Cole said Walls handcuffed McComb and when he tried to get him into the police vehicle, McComb had a hard time.
"He's not real agile; he doesn't move too fast. He had both knees replaced, the last one about six months ago," Cole said. "When I watch TV with him, he turns it up to 100 to hear it - he's hard of hearing. ... So this police officer is trying to get him in the car and [McComb's] talking loud: 'I told you I can't move my legs.'"
Cole said he thinks that McComb's difficulty hearing might have led to Walls pulling him off the ATV because McComb might not have responded to the officer.
McComb was taken to the police station, then released to his friends. Walls told him he would get a summons in the mail stating the charges against him.
McComb was taken to the hospital by ambulance with his daughter, Karen McComb, at his side.