Friday, May 20, 2011

1st degree Arson Arrest

      On Friday, May 20, 2011 at 0110 hours, the Martinsburg Police Department responded to 711 West John Street for a report of a disturbance in which a fire was started in the residence, but had been put out.  Upon arriving on the scene, smoke was coming from the residence and the Martinsburg Fire Department responded.  It was determined that the owner of the residence, James Smith, got into an argument with his roommate, Jason Kesner.  Mr. Smith then lit a newspaper on fire, stated he was going to burn the house down and put the lit newspaper under a  bed.  The bed and some carpeting were damaged in the fire, no one was injured.

    James William Smith, Date of Birth: 01-17-1964, was arrested for 1st degree arson and is awaiting arraignment at Eastern Regional Jail.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Alcohol Compliance Checks

On Thursday, May 12th and Friday, May 13th, the Martinsburg Police Department and the Alcoholic Beverage Commission conducted alcohol compliance checks at area businesses utilizing a minor under the age of 21.   The alcohol compliance checks were paid for by the United Way through a substance abuse grant.  In total, 21 businesses were checked for alcohol compliance and 14 were found to be in violation.  Clerks who sold alcohol to minors were cited for Unlawful Sale of Alcohol by Alcoholic Liquor Licensee, a violation of Martinsburg Municipal code 521.04(d)(1)A.  If convicted, persons found guilty are subject to a fine not more than $500, or imprisonment not more than 30 days or both. 

The businesses found to be compliant and non-compliant are listed below.  Persons cited for being in violation are also listed with the businesses.


Peppers News Stand (200 block of N. Queen St.)- Sherry Nalley
Lupitas- (100 block of N. Queen St.)- Guadalupe Bustillos
Berkeley News (100 block of N. Queen St.)- Donna-Sue Prahl
Martins Grocery (900 Foxcroft Ave)- Phyllis Coleman
Rocs (900 block Winchester Ave)- Melissa Myers
7-11 Store (King/Winchester Ave)- Norma Smith
7-11 Store (900 block of N. Queen St.)- Charmone Myers
7-11 Store (Moler Ave.) – Frances Breen
Crown Gas (Edwin Miller Blvd)- Radha Krishna Vavilala
Rite Aid (600 block of Winchester Ave)- Waunita Bennett
Crowell’s (700 block of N. Queen St.)- Betty Lehmaster
Bob’s Carry Out (100 block of N. Raleigh St)- Mary Herr
Walgreens Pharmacy (Edwin Miller Blvd)- Justin Conner
Food Lion (Old Courthouse Square)- Jessica Coulson


Rocs (Foxcroft Ave)
Crown Gas (1100 block N. Queen St.)
Weis Grocery (1000 block of N. Queen St.)
CVS (Edwin Miller Blvd)
Caribbean Market (300 block N. High St.)
Wal-Mart (800 Foxcroft Ave)
Sheetz (1600 block of W. King St.)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Malicious Wounding Arrest

On May 9th 2011 Martinsburg Police officers, Det Lt G. B. Swartwood and Det J. D. Luciano  arrested an individual on the charge of Malicious Wounding for an incident which occurred at the Dirty Dawg Saloon on February 13th 2011. 

On this date the defendant surrendered himself with his attorney at the Martinsburg Police Department to be processed and arraigned on said charge.

 It is alleged in the basis of said warrant that on February 13th 2011 at approximately 2:25 AM Martinsburg police Department responded to the Dirty Dawg Saloon located at 1019 South Queen Street Martinsburg Berkeley County West Virginia.

Once at this location the responding unformed officers began an investigation into an apparent fight which resulted with one subject critically injured who later had to be transported by helicopter to Inova hospital for head injuries.

There were several persons still at the establishment which provided statements of this encounter and some information regarding the individuals involved. It was advised that some of the group involved had sweat shirts or tee shirts emblazoned with the Avenger Motorcycle Club logo or name upon them. It was also advised that some of these subjects were Avenger Motorcycle Club members.

The victim was identified as:
Ernest Eugene Cumbie
DOB 10 03 66
Currently residing in Virginia

It was determined that this was the person suffering from head injuries which was taken to Inova Hospital. There was also a large puddle of blood on the floor of the Dirty Dawg Saloon, belonging to the victim which was photographed by uniformed officers.

As the investigation progressed it was discovered that five individuals, four males and one female traveled from Pennsylvania to Maryland and then later to West Virginia arriving at the Dirty Dawg Saloon. The ensuing investigation was performed by Det. Lt. G. B. Swartwood and Det. J.D. Luciano.

All subjects were later identified and statements taken from each except Craig Newcomer who was being represented by council and he and his attorney declined to provide a statement at this time.  Two of these subjects were found to be Avenger Motorcycle Club members and charges have been brought against them for their involvement in this incident they are the following:

Craig Lynn Newcomer aka “Guido”
DOB 11 30 64
117 West 3rd Street Waynesboro Pennsylvania 17268
Avenger Motorcycle Club member.

Benjamin Jason Bean aka “4th Grade” 
139 Apt. 4 Summit Ave Hagerstown Maryland 21740
Avenger Motorcycle Club member.

It was determined that these subjects first travelled to the VIP Gentleman’s Club (exotic dance club) in Berkeley County  West Virginia and then left there for the Dirty Dawg Saloon in Martinsburg West Virginia. 

After being at the Dirty Dawg Saloon for a period of time and as they were beginning to depart is when the encounter and fight occurred.  As the investigation continued and from witness statements it is alleged that Craig Newcomer aka “Guido” did strike the victim Ernest Eugene Cumbie with his fist and ring.

It was determined that he alone struck the victim that fell to the floor and had to be later administered critical life support and taken to Inova hospital by helicopter.

The victim Ernest Eugene Cumbie suffered the following injuries which were ascertained from a copy of his written medical records from Inova Hospital.  These records indicated that the victim arrived to their hospital boarded, collared and intubated and transported by air to Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Clinically, he had parietal occipital scalp hematoma, multiple facial and skull fractures, including a nasal root fracture, a septum fracture, and deviation with a skull injury, also. He also has frontal lobe contusions and traumatic brain injury. 

The investigation revealed several witnesses that provided statements in regards to this encounter and information regarding these individuals.

These individuals (Craig Newcomer’s party) then left the Dirty Dawg Saloon and returned to the VIP lounge, exotic dance club. The investigation revealed that while at the VIP lounge “Guido” and “4th Grade” spoke to witnesses at this location which provided statements in regard to the Dirty Dawg incident.

A motive emerged suggesting why this group first left the VIP lounge. It was advised by “4th Grade” that the reason they left is because “Guido” was itching for a fight and he didn’t want to start a fight in the VIP lounge. A witness also provided a statement stating that Craig Newcomer aka “Guido” inquired from her “I wonder if I killed the guy”. It was advised this group than stayed till closing and then departed.  

This officer, Det Lt G. B. Swartwood and Det. J. D. Luciano also traveled to Waynesboro Pennsylvania where a statement was taken from the Chief of Police of Waynesboro Mark C.  King advising that on March 1st 2011 in the a.m. Waynesboro Council President Craig Newcomer had come into his office and spoke with him in regards to an incident that had taken place in a bar in West Virginia.

Council President Craig Newcomer advised him he had been involved in an incident over the weekend. He did not advise where it had taken place. He also advised he had struck someone over the weekend and the subject had to be flown out by helicopter to the hospital. He also advised it was in self defense because the person struck him and charged at him.

Chief King provided a typed and signed statement in regards to this meeting.

This officer (Det Lt GB Swartwood) was also able to identify and acquire a statement from a member of the Avenger Motorcycle Club who advised he was leaving the motorcycle club but he was told by “4th Grade” and another member of the Club “Jar Head” by speaking to one and by a text message by the other and he understood that it was “Guido” Craig Newcomer that struck the victim at the Dirty Dawg because he wanted to break in his new ring.

On May 2nd 2011 this officer applied for and was granted an arrest warrant for the charge of Malicious Wounding for Craig Lynn Newcomer aka “Guido” from a Berkeley County West Virginia State Magistrate. 

A felony  warrant for Accessory After the Fact of Malicious Wounding was also obtained for one of the subjects in the Newcomer party also from a State Magistrate on May 2nd 2011 and arrangements have been sought for his arrest.

Benjamin Jason Bean aka “4th Grade”
DOB 8 4 75
Listing an address of 139 Apt. 4 Summit Ave Hagerstown Maryland 21740

The investigation is ongoing with search warrants also being obtained and executed in West Virginia and Waynesboro Pennsylvania to attempt to gain further evidence in this case.

Craig Wayne Newcomer was arraigned on the charge of Malicious Wounding by State Magistrate Overington and his bond was set at $50,000. He was released via a bondsperson.

The Martinsburg Police Department would like to thank the Waynesboro Pennsylvania Police Department along with The Pennsylvania State Police for their cooperation in this investigation. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Solicitation of Prostitution Arrest

On Thursday, May 5, 2011, the Martinsburg Police Department conducted an investigation into prostitution within the Martinsburg city limits.  During the course of the investigation, a confidential informant was met on West King Street by an individual identified as Jorge Luis Parada Arqueta. 

Mr. Arqueta drove to the C.I.’s location , parked and engaged in conversation regarding sexual acts.  Mr. Arqueta advised the C.I. that he wanted “everything”, referring to sexual intercourse in the dialogue and that he was willing to pay $25. 

A short time later, Mr. Arqueta was arrested without incident and transported to the Martinsburg Police Department for processing.  Mr. Arqueta was charged with solicitation through the Martinsburg Municipal Court.


Jorge Luis Parada Arqueta
310 Randolph St., Mtsbg WV 25401
DOB:  07/27/69

Monday, May 2, 2011

Robbery / Malicious Wounding

Officers responded to the 100 block of E Race Street in the parking lot of Union Sales Dodge for a person being attacked by several people.  Officers arrived and found the victim had been struck in the face and he had several lacerations in which he was bleeding from. The victim had been stabbed in the upper portion of his back. He was unaware of this wound as he was struck and kicked several times.  The folding knife what was used in this attack was found at the scene by officers.

This call began over the alleged molesting of a small child. During this the victim was stabbed and his cell phone was taken by the persons involved in this altercation as they left. The stolen cell phone was located by officers in possession of  Rodney Edwards after receiving this phone from Tina M. Ernst.   Edwards and Ernst were arrested for Receiving and Transferring stolen property. 
Rodney Edwards
Tina Ernst


Arrested in connection to the Malicious Wounding and the 1st Degree Robbery: Devon Fletcher 24 years old 311 N Maple Ave Martinsburg. 

Devon Fletcher

Brandon Ballard 32 years old 311 N. Maple Ave Martinsburg.  
This was for the injuries to the victim as a result of this altercation. 
Brandon Ballard

All 4 persons are awaiting arrangement at the Eastern Regional Jail in Martinsburg.