NEW HAVEN — A Point Pleasant man has been arrested after he allegedly, willingly accepted a ride from a police officer while carrying items consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine in his backpack.
Jonathan D. Litchfield, 30, was arrested by Chief D.L. Hardwick with the New Haven Police Department and charged with attempting to operate a clandestine lab, escape, obstructing and battery on an officer (three counts). He remains housed in the Western Regional Jail on a bond of $23,000. His preliminary hearing in Mason County Magistrate Court has been set for Aug. 4.
According to the official criminal complaint filed in magistrate court, Hardwick came into contact with Litchfield along W.Va. 62 near Riverside Golf Course in Mason after receiving a report from a motorist about a male subject who appeared to be in need of help. With sheriff’s deputies dispatched on another call, Hardwick told 911 center dispatchers he would check on the individual to see if he needed assistance.
Hardwick came into contact with Litchfield just after midnight on July 25 with Litchfield saying he was headed to New Haven. Litchfield accepted Hardwick’s offer to ride in the backseat to New Haven. Hardwick said during the ride to New Haven he could smell a strong, unknown chemical odor. Once the two arrived in New Haven and Litchfield began to exit the cruiser, Hardwick said the backpack Litchfield was wearing struck the car’s door frame and made a sound distinctive to a tin can.
Litchfield gave Hardwick permission to look into the backpack, saying he didn’t know what was in it and that he’d found it under a house in Mason. Inside the backpack were four bottles of lye, one bottle of Coleman fuel, one bottle of liquid drain cleaner, two four packs of lithium batteries and a freezer bag about a quart of the way full with white, powered pellets, according to the complaint.
At this point, Litchfield was arrested and taken back to the New Haven Police Department. A few hours later, the complaint says Litchfield asked to go to the restroom and afterwards, as he exited the restroom in handcuffs, he allegedly grabbed an office door, slammed it shut and broke the door handle with an officer inside that office. He then allegedly exited the police department only to meet up with Deputies Cavender and Waugh with the Mason County Sheriff’s Department.
Still in handcuffs, the deputies were able to restrain Litchfield who remained non compliant and combative, according to the complaint. Back inside the police department, Litchfield allegedly became combative again and at this time Litchfield allegedly struck the two deputies and Officer Johnson with the New Haven PD.