W. Va. man charged with attempted murder of 2 paramedics

Richard Thornton became uncooperative on the way to the hospital, took a knife from his rear pants pocket and tried to stab the medics


By The Charleston Gazette, W.Va.

KANAWHA COUNTY, W. Va. — A Parkersburg man tried to kill two paramedics with a knife as they were taking him to a hospital, according to Kanawha County Sheriff Mike Rutherford.

On Saturday evening, Kanawha sheriff’s deputies and paramedics were sent to the 5800 block of Elk River Road in Elkview, after people called Metro 911 and said a man was on the side of the road, acting as if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Richard William Thornton, 27, told the deputies he had been using methamphetamine and bath salts. (Photo/Wikimedia Commons)
Richard William Thornton, 27, told the deputies he had been using methamphetamine and bath salts. (Photo/Wikimedia Commons)

Richard William Thornton, 27, told the deputies he had been using methamphetamine and bath salts. The medics decided to take him to a hospital, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

On the way, Thornton became uncooperative and repeatedly tried to get out of the straps that were holding him onto a cot. While on Interstate 79, Thornton took a knife from his rear pants pocket and tried to stab the medic treating him, Rutherford said.

The ambulance’s driver stopped the vehicle, and both medics left the ambulance. Thornton chased the medics; one of them ran up a small hill and escaped, but the other was chased by Thornton for a while on I-79, the sheriff said.

Deputies later found Thornton at a convenience store near the Elkview exit of I-79. He was taken to a hospital, then arrested and charged with two counts of attempted murder. He was taken to South Central Regional Jail.

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©2019 The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, W.Va.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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