Beckley, WV – Raleigh County deputies successfully subdued a convicted felon during a drug raid at a residence on Aug. 16 after he attempted to take a deputy’s weapon.
“He put up quite a fight,” Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jim Bare told Blue Lives Matter on Friday.
The incident occurred at approximately 7:50 a.m., when the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team (SRT) executed a search warrant obtained by the Beckley Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, according to the agency’s arrest report.
The team announced their presence at the Crab Orchard residence, then used a battering ram to force their way into the dark basement of the home.
Using tactical lights attached to their weapons, the officers spotted two individuals hiding beneath a blanket on a bed.
The suspects refused to comply with commands to show their hands, so the officers yanked a male from the bed and onto the floor, where he instantly “became combative,” according to the arrest report.
“Deputies first attempted to force his hands behind his back, but were unsuccessful due to his strength and willingness to fight,” Sergeant G. Kade wrote in the report.
According to jail records, the suspect was described as being six feet, one inch tall, and weighed 230 pounds.
“He’s trying to grab my gun!” Sergeant R. White alerted his fellow officers as the fight ensued, according to the arrest report.
Another officer began “applying pain compliant strikes” to the suspect, but they “seemed to have no effect,” the report read.
Additional SRT members who had been clearing the residence then rushed to help subdue the combative man.
One held his head and upper body to the ground, while another struggled to control his legs to prevent his attempts to stand up.
The officers were ultimately able to “overpower” the suspect, and placed him in handcuffs.
Once outside, the man falsely identified himself by using his brother’s name, Capt. Bare said.
Emergency medical personnel were called to the scene and transported the male to the hospital for evaluation. He was ultimately released from the hospital, and was transported to the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office for processing, according to the arrest report.
An unnamed female was also arrested at the scene of the raid.
No officers were injured during the altercation, Capt. Bare told Blue Lives Matter.
At the station, the male suspect continued to identify himself as his brother, and even signed his fingerprint card in his brother’s name, police said.
“It was later found in this investigation that the male subject involved was David Bruce Gillespie due to the Live Scan machine sending us an alert [with his true identity],” the arrest report read.
“This is a shame, because all of this could have been avoided if you would have just complied with us and told the truth,” one of the officers told Gillespie, 32, after his deception came to light.
“Man, I knew I was wanted and didn’t want to go to jail,” Gillespie responded, according to the arrest report.
Gillespie has been charged with felony obstructing/attempt to disarm law enforcement, felony forgery for signing his elder brother’s name, and two misdemeanor counts of obstructing, Capt. Bare said.
He was also wanted for probation violations stemming from past convictions for felony forgery and uttering, the captain added.
According to jail records, Gillespie’s bond has been set at $30,000.