CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A water delivery truck that stopped traffic for awhile near St. Albans on Sunday morning led to the arrest of a local man.
Corporal B. D. Humphreys of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office said deputies were helping a truck that delivered a load of water leave the lot of the West Side Volunteer Fire Department, which stopped traffic for a few minutes.
One of the vehicles in the line attracted the attention of deputies when its driver pulled into the roadway at an awkward angle and began sounding his horn.
Humpreys said Deputy J. Ferrell walked to the car to investigate and found the driver, John D. Copen, 67, of St. Albans, waving his arms and using profanity as he asked what was going on. As the deputy explained the situation, Copen continued to curse. Ferrell noticed a rifle in the passenger seat of the vehicle and asked Copen to step outside.
During a pat down for any additional weapons, Humpreys said Copen became combative and repeatedly reached for his front left pants pocket.
A silver container attached to his keychain was found to contain a suspected prescription pill. A knife was in Copen's front left pants pocket, and a magazine of ammunition was found in his breast pocket.
Copen was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing an officer and possession of a controlled substance without a valid prescription. His vehicle was towed away and traffic resumed shortly after the arrest.
Humpreys said what happened with Copen was an exception to what law enforcement officers had seen during water distribution efforts.
"This one arrest is countered by thousands of people who lined up for water, and many more who were delayed in congested traffic during the distribution efforts. The general calm and kindness with which people have behaved has allowed water to be given quickly to those who need it, and water trucks coming from out of the area have been able to navigate throughout the region," he said.
Copen was taken to an area hospital after complaining that he did not feel well. While there, he attempted to urinate in the floor of the hospital's emergency room. After a doctor examined him he was released to the custody of a deputy.
Humpreys said Copen continued to curse at deputies as he was fingerprinted and photographed. Because Kanawha County Magistrate Court was closed, Copen was taken to South Central Regional Jail to await arraignment.