On Tuesday April 18, the Hardy County Sheriff’s Office responded to assist in the apprehension of a suspect who had led police on a high speed pursuit from Rockingham County, Va. into Pendleton County. The suspect had said that he “would go out in a hail of gunfire” and was considered a risk to the public and to law enforcement.
Hardy County Sheriff Bryan Ward, and Hardy County Deputies Jimmy Shipe, Josh Vetter, Jason Rohrbaugh, and Tommie McCausley II quickly arrived on scene in Pendleton County operating under the mutual aid agreement between counties.
Coordinating with Pendleton County Sheriff, West Virginia State Police Troopers, and West Virginia Division Natural Resources Police, officers located the suspect hiding in a garage in Brandywine.
The suspect attempted to flee and nearly struck the law enforcement officers and vehicles surrounding the garage, leading to another pursuit on the back roads of Pendleton County.
[private] The suspect refused repeated signals to stop his vehicle and surrender. When he did stop, he reversed his vehicle and repeatedly struck the lead law enforcement vehicle at a high speed causing airbag deployment and intending harm to the pursing officers.
Deputy Tommie McCausley attempted to disable the suspect’s vehicle from the passenger seat of a WVDNRP vehicle.
When all attempts failed to stop the suspect and his vehicle, and when the suspect clearly continued to put law enforcement officers in danger, Deputy McCausley used his service weapon to defend himself and the WV DNRP officer from the suspect and his Jeep Cherokee, which was headed in their direction.
This action certainly protected Deputy McCausley and the WVDNR officer from certain serious bodily injury or death.
The suspect ceased the assault and succumbed to his injuries on the scene as CPR was being performed by officers.
The suspect was later identified as Casey Desper of McGaheysville, Va. in Rockingham County. He was wanted on a Capias warrant for a probation violation.
The Hardy County Sheriff’s Office would like to commend Deputy Tommie McCausley for bravery in the line of duty, for protecting other law enforcement officers from a clear and present danger, and his dedication to serving and protecting the community.
The Sheriff’s Office would also like to thank all of the deputies, emergency operation centers, other agencies involved and the vigilant members of the public who assisted during the search in Pendleton County.
In recognition of his bravery and courage shown in the line of duty, and for protecting his fellow officers and the general public, Deputy McCausley has been awarded the Medal of Valor.