Related InformationRead press release about this incident
A story published Wednesday should have identified a man who died after a reported altercation with a Strasburg police officer as Donald G. Beaty, 41, of Front Royal.
Police officer found knife-wielding suspect threatening ex-girlfriend
By Preston Knight - firstname.lastname@example.org
STRASBURG -- A Front Royal man died after an altercation with a Strasburg police officer who responded to a report of an attempted break-in and found the man threatening his ex-girlfriend with a knife early Tuesday.
Donald G. Beaty, 41, of Catlett Mountain Road, was pronounced dead at Winchester Medical Center, where he had been taken for treatment of a knife wound to his chest, according to a Strasburg Police Department news release. He received his fatal injury after a "struggle" with the police officer at 941 E. Washington St., where Beaty was accused of trying to break in about 2:30 a.m.
The officer, who has not been identified, has been placed on paid administrative leave while state police investigate, the release states.
Beaty's ex-girlfriend, Angela Ladd, called police at 2:38 a.m. to report the man's presence on her back porch.
"Ms. Ladd was called earlier by the ex-boyfriend's family and warned that he may be on the way to her residence," the release states.
The officer arrived at 2:40 a.m. and approached the front door, where a fight between Ladd and Beaty was taking place. Beaty was blocking the door, the release states, sending the officer to the back to get inside.
"The officer entered hearing the victim screaming for help," it states. "According to the officer, the victim was on the floor and suspect was on top of her wielding a knife.
Because he was so close to Ladd, the officer could not use his weapon, at which point the struggle between him and Beaty took place until the man was detained. The officer and Ladd were not hurt, the release states.
State police spokesman Sgt. F.L. "Les" Tyler said the information contained in the press release was the extent of what would be released to the public.
At the scene shortly after noon, Ladd declined to comment, saying only that she was still in the process of cleaning her house. Law enforcement had already left the neighborhood.
Ladd was at her house with her two sons, 12 and 19, at the time of the incident, the release states. Neighbors said they did not know anyone involved. Some of them were awakened by the commotion -- a "bang, bang," said Rose, a neighbor who wanted to give only her first name. The noise may have been Beaty's attempt to get into Ladd's back door.
Rose said she looked out of her window to see someone, presumably the police officer, pointing a gun toward Ladd's house.
"I thought, 'Oh my God,'" Rose said.
Another neighbor used the same expression.
"Oh my God, I've never seen so many blue lights," John Locke said.
His girlfriend, Teresa Gochenour, as well as other neighbors, said the area seldom has brushes with law enforcement. About a year ago, a dog got loose and police were scouring the area for it, and she said that's all she's encountered.
"When you see the cops in this area," said Gochenour, 51, "you know something's wrong."
A message for Beaty's mother was not returned Tuesday afternoon. Online records for area circuit and general district courts do not list him as having any violent criminal history, although those do not include any possible charges that would exist in domestic relations courts.