The former Warren County deputy sheriff charged with wounding a 77-year-old man with dementia during a traffic stop last year broke a woman’s nose a few weeks earlier during an arrest, a prosecutor revealed Friday.

Zachary A. Fadely, 30, of Maurertown, appeared for a bond hearing in Warren County Circuit Court on Friday with his attorney, William A. “Beau” Bassler. A grand jury indictment handed up Monday charges Fadely with the April 2, 2022, malicious wounding of Ralph C. Ennis.

Authorities accuse Fadely and current Deputy Sheriff Tyler S. Poe of causing injury to Ennis when they tackled him during an April traffic stop. Ennis suffered a brain bleed from head trauma and died in hospice care days later. Neither defendant is charged in Ennis’ death. The state’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled Ennis died of “natural causes.”

Poe, charged with unlawful wounding, remains free on a $10,000 secured bond. Poe, 26, of Strasburg, surrendered to authorities on Monday following his indictment. A magistrate at the Prince William County-Manassas Regional Adult Detention Center granted Poe the bond, which he posted that day.

Bassler argued that Fadely poses no flight risk. Fadely has strong ties to the community and has two children in the area, Bassler said. Fadely’s girlfriend, with whom he shares a child, and family members appeared in court. Bassler said Fadely missed his best opportunity to flee when he learned of his indictment. Instead of fleeing, Fadely surrendered to authorities, Bassler said.

The Prince William County Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney serves as the special prosecutor for the case. Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Matthew Sweet argued for the prosecution that the court should deny Fadely’s request for bond because he poses a danger to the community given his history of using violence on the job. Fadely also poses a flight risk given that the defendant faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the crime he is charged with, Sweet said.

Judge Daryl L. Funk found at the end of the hearing that Sweet had not proven that Fadely posed a flight risk or was a danger to the community. Funk granted Fadely’s release on a $10,000 secured bond.

As a condition of his bond, Fadely shall not possess any firearms. Funk allowed Fadely to leave Virginia for employment purposes only. Fadely will stay with his girlfriend at the Maurertown address, Bassler said. Fadely drives ambulances for Valley Health’s Valley Medical Transportation, which travels into West Virginia and Maryland, Bassler said.

Fadely surrendered to authorities Tuesday and a magistrate ordered him held without bond at Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center in Winchester. Fadely was transferred on Wednesday to Middle River Regional Jail in Staunton.

Fadely was released from his duties at the Sheriff’s Office at Sheriff Mark A. Butler’s request in July, court records show. Bassler told the judge Fadely has 10 years of military experience, first in the U.S. Army, from which he was honorably discharged, and then with the U.S. Army National Guard until his indictment. Fadely is studying to become a paramedic, Bassler said.

The prosecutor argued that Fadely has a history of hurting people while on duty — the encounter with Ennis and another a couple of months earlier with a woman who suffered a broken nose as Fadely arrested her, Sweet said.

“I heard ... Mr. Fadely is doing something in the medical field,” Sweet said. “There are two individuals that needed medical treatment and when Mr. Fadely was a deputy, they got hurt and now he’s still continuing to work with individuals who need medical treatment.”

Sweet said that Fadely broke a woman’s nose, weeks prior to the incident with Ennis, when he forced her to the ground while making an arrest. Sweet said the woman was suffering from a mental breakdown and wanted help. Court records show the encounter occurred Feb. 14, 2022, and Fadely arrested the woman on charges of assault on a law enforcement officer, trespassing and public intoxication. The court dismissed the woman’s charges at the request of the Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney on April 20, 2022, and Fadely was not charged with causing her injuries.

Sweet played a video clip of the encounter recorded by a deputy’s body-worn camera. The woman’s arm was in a sling because she had a broken collarbone, Sweet said. The woman, sitting in a law enforcement vehicle, is heard on the body-cam recording telling Fadely she needed to get something from her car. Fadely tries to put the woman in handcuffs. She starts shouting “no” and the two fall to the ground, the video shows. Fadely orders the woman to give him her hands as he tries to place them in handcuffs. The woman can be heard crying out “my nose broken, my nose broken.” The woman continues crying as she’s ordered to sit and “relax.”

Sweet read from Fadely’s arrest report that states she asked for a voluntary mental health evaluation. Fadely states that the woman stepped out of the vehicle and started walking to her car. Fadely states he got between the woman and her vehicle. Fadely states he held the woman’s right arm so she wouldn’t fall.

“My argument, judge, is that this is Deputy Fadely’s attempt to minimize what it is he’s doing as he is handling, I don’t want to say a prisoner ... as he is going hands-on with somebody, he’s trying to justify in his police report that he’s supporting this woman from falling when, your honor, watch the video, that’s not what’s taking place,” Sweet said. “So I would submit this is creative report-writing by Deputy Fadely.”

Bassler argued that the prosecutor left out parts of the video.

“... that video shows somebody that (Fadely) wasn’t nasty to this woman, wasn’t cursing at her, wasn’t belittling her, was saying ‘hey, I hope you get the help you need,’” Bassler said. “But she wasn’t going to leave it at that and she gets out of the car and by the end of the video she’s screaming to the police that she’s gonna fight with them.”

Referring to the Ennis case, Bassler argued that law enforcement officers often find themselves in “unenviable positions.” Sometimes officers need to go hands-on with individuals. And, in some instances, people get hurt, he added. Bassler said in Fadely’s case, the defendant responded not to a traffic stop but to a report of a driver eluding a law enforcement officer.

But Sweet tried to connect the two incidents.

“That would be this defendant’s temperament for handling somebody who wants to voluntarily submit for a mental-health evaluation,” Sweet told the judge. “I submit this is how people get hurt when they’re in the care and custody of Deputy Fadely.

Sweet went on to say that Fadely drove at speeds of up to 86 mph as he traveled from one traffic stop to the one involving Ennis.

“When he finally arrives on scene his gun is out, he sees another deputy (Poe) already with hands on Ralph Ennis,” Sweet said. “Deputy Fadely puts his gun back and then tackles both Tyler Poe and Ralph Ennis to the ground.”

– Contact Alex Bridges at

(4) comments


I love this part: "Bassler said Fadely missed his best opportunity to flee when he learned of his indictment. Instead of fleeing, Fadely surrendered to authorities, Bassler said." Yes, Mr. Bassler, your client isn't going to flee because he "missed his chance". Maybe he didn't flee because he knew he'd be released on bond, to then flee....with a weapon (cops always have a backup). Plus, he has the judge's permission to leave the state for "employment purposes". Oh yeah, they can stretch that one.

Someone who tackles people to the ground including a fellow deputy, pulls their weapon immediately, breaks a person's nose, causes a brain bleed....that's not a person who cares about their "two children" or "their community". They can and will do whatever they need to to get themselves out of those consequences, including running.

I also like that then Deputy Poe is now the Deputy Sheriff. Kill someone, get a promotion. It's the police way.

S Brown

Notice that this article is very biased and almost only states what the prosecutor says. I challenge any reporter that's worth their salt to get the public court record of every word said and be a little less biased and give the actual information. There is a lot of false reporting in this article.

Darrin Gifft

I predict a plea deal for fadely that will reduce his felony to a misdemeanor and charges being dismissed against poe

S Brown

The prosecutor intentionally waited until 13 months after. They can't ask for a misdemeanor after 12 months.

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