Assault on law enforcement officer charge dropped

By Joe Beck

WOODSTOCK — Authorities dropped a majority of charges Monday in Shenandoah County General District Court against a Star Tannery man who had been accused of assaulting a law enforcement officer and committing several check-related offenses.

Jeremy Levi McWilliams still faces counts of forgery and circulating a forged check. Those charges were certified for presentation before a circuit court grand jury. Charges of assault against a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, obtaining more than $200 under false pretenses and pick pocketing were dropped.

The case stemmed from a mid-September encounter between McWilliams and Strasburg police officers Jason Clark and Matt Troxell while the officers were investigating a report of someone trying to cash a forged check in the name of Fox’s Pizza for $420.

Police said they had obtained arrest warrants against McWilliams and chased him down after he fled from them in the area of North Place and East Washington Place.

Strasburg police Chief Tim Sutherly said Monday some of the charges were dropped after Clark resigned from the police department on Jan. 7 for what Sutherly described as personal reasons.

“The officer involved has since resigned from our department,” Sutherly said, adding he could not provide specific details on the reasons for the resignation.

Sutherly said the decision to drop the charges had nothing to do with statements made by a man who challenged the police version of McWilliams’ arrest. James Himmelright of 182 North St. told the Northern Virginia Daily in September that Clark had used excessive force against McWilliams and the defendant had fought back and fled in self-defense.

McWilliams is facing a second charge of assault on a law enforcement officer in a separate, later incident in Woodstock that involved his arrest on drug-related charges and an attempt to escort him into the Shenandoah County Jail.

McWilliams remains in jail where he is being held without bond.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com