Police: Threat against judge preceded chase

WOODSTOCK – The tense, violent chase between law enforcement officials and William Walter Grim Jr. on Interstate 81 Wednesday was fueled by earlier charges in which Grim is alleged to have obstructed Shenandoah County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Judge Kevin Black and violated a protective order Black had issued against him.

The entire chain of events leading up to law enforcement officials deploying a rifle, Taser and unspecified impact weapons began at about 3 p.m. the day before when a Shenandoah County sheriff’s deputy was sent to the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court building at 215 Mill Road to investigate threats.

The deputy’s criminal complaint says that Grim had told someone at the county emergency communications center that “they need to pass along a message to Judge … Black stating, ‘That if his misses is out with someone else that he is in trouble because he is the one that signed the protective order.'”

A few weeks ago, Black issued a protective order prohibiting Grim from contacting his wife for two years. An affidavit she filed in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court says he violated the protective order about three weeks ago by stalking her and making at least 20 unwanted telephone calls a day to her.

Law enforcement officials speaking on background say they have had numerous adversarial contacts with Grim. Grim’s record in the adult court system was meager before the last few days, but the file in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court containing the protective order is more than an inch thick. Some records list Grim as a resident of Mount Jackson but a bail determination form filed Tuesday says he has lived the last six months in Toms Brook and in New Market for 50 years.

Part of the bail form also says he has been unemployed for five months and receiving disability pay, but elsewhere he is listed as working “on and off.”

About 90 minutes after the first call about Grim’s alleged threat to Black, a second call came in, this one from a bailiff at the courthouse. The complaint says the same deputy from the first call was dispatched and arrived to find Grim “driving around the parking lot.”

Grim was charged with stalking Black and obstructing the judge’s work, both misdemeanors. He was released hours later from the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail on a $4,000 secured bond.

On Wednesday afternoon, deputies from the Sheriff’s Office obtained authorization from Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp to arrest Grim for two alleged offenses, one of which accused him of violating the protective order earlier this month. The second offense was the charge of obstructing Black, which Hupp raised from its initial classification as a misdemeanor to a felony.

Maj. Scott Proctor of the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office said the arrest authorization was a product of a follow-up investigation of the cases related to the judge and the protective order.

Hours later, two investigators from the Sheriff’s Office spotted Grim’s car on I-81 and followed him into the convenience store parking lot where he refused to cooperate and sped off.

“We’re grateful no one was hurt,” Proctor said of the ensuing chase.

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