CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A State Police trooper with severe head trauma was breathing without a ventilator in the hospital Thursday, authorities said.
Doctors at CAMC General Hospital removed Sgt. Aaron Nichols from a neurological ventilator for the first time since he received blunt force trauma to the head while trying to apprehend an alleged shoplifter in St. Albans on Monday.
State Police Cpl. Jimmy Mitchell spoke with Nichols Thursday morning and the injured trooper nodded and understood him, said State Police Spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous.
Nichols, while off-duty, tried to stop Jennifer Elaine Garretson, 35, when she set off security alarms at a Goody's clothing store in St. Albans, police said. Garretson reversed her car into Nichols and Nichols jumped on the car's trunk to minimize impact, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court. Garretson allegedly drove in a circle and threw Nichols to the ground.
Garretson turned herself in Wednesday and was charged with malicious wounding.