CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The FBI has started a civil rights investigation into the Cedar Grove police chief who witnesses say dragged an 80-year-old man off his ATV and slammed him to the concrete, according to an FBI official.
"We have initiated an investigation regarding that incident," said Joe Ciccarelli, FBI Supervisory Special Agent in Charleston.
The Kanawha County Sheriff's Department had been investigating Cedar Grove Police Chief Johnny D. Walls before the FBI stepped in.
Lt. Sean Crosier said the department was notified Wednesday the FBI would be investigating.
Kanawha County prosecutor Mark Plants said he discussed the case with the U.S. Attorney's office.
Plants said he always communicates with his federal counterparts when an investigation may overlap into their jurisdiction.
"We don't want to double-prosecute people for the same crimes," he said. "If the FBI steps in, then the sheriff's department wouldn't still do an investigation, which is typical. You don't want to duplicate resources.
"Any time they take a case, they are welcome to it. ... They have much stiffer penalties. If they want a case, I want them to take it."
On Aug. 16, Robert McComb, 80, was riding ATVs with two friends and was heading back to his house in Cedar Grove after coming out of the woods when he was stopped by Walls.