By Joe Beck
A Strasburg man charged for a second time within recent months with assault on a law enforcement officer was ordered held without bail in Shenandoah County General District Court on Monday.
Judge W. Dale Houff ordered Jeremy Levi McWilliams back to jail after hearing of new charges filed against McWilliams as a result of a heroin-related drug bust conducted earlier this month by the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force.
Houff said he was troubled by the new charge of assaulting a law enforcement officer while the earlier charge is pending.
"The fact that he is charged with a second assault against an officer, I'm going to deny bail," Houff said.
Accusations that McWilliams assaulted a law enforcement officer stem from his arrest Dec. 13 as deputies attempted to escort him to the county jail. Authorities say McWilliams escaped briefly, fleeing on foot before a Woodstock police officer and a sheriff's deputy captured him again. Sheriff'Office officials have said another deputy received a minor injury to his hand during the incident.
McWilliams, 29, is one of seven defendants arrested during an undercover heroin-buying operation conducted by the task force in Woodstock. His new charges include attempting to buy an illegal drug.
The first charge of assaulting a law enforcement officer filed against McWilliams came in mid-September after Strasburg police arrested him in the area of North Place and East Washington Street. The officers were seeking McWilliams as a suspect in a check forging case.
No one was injured in the incident. McWilliams is also facing charges of petty larceny, two forgery-related counts and pick pocketing less than $5, all linked to the check forging investigation.
Houff set new court appearances for McWilliams for 9 a.m. Jan. 10 and 9:30 a.m. Jan. 27.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org