Pursuit, shootout ends after tense arrest in Mercer County

Hope White

A Princeton woman was arraigned on Thursday after she allegedly shot at deputies and disarmed the Mercer County sheriff on Monday.

Hope Renee White, 29, had a revoked bond for previous felony charges, according to a criminal complaint filed in Mercer County Magistrate Court. An anonymous tip Monday told police that White was in a green van near the Budget Inn on Thorn Street in Princeton.

Deputy S.J. Cary searched the area and saw the van. As he stopped the driver on Mercer Street, he saw White try to escape from a back door, the complaint states. She then allegedly locked the back door and tried to escape the van by climbing over the driver. The deputy blocked White and she again retreated inside, the complaint states.

Cary struggled with the driver as White allegedly crawled on the floor and pressed the gas pedal.

According to the complaint, Cary used pepper spray on White, who then said, “I am gonna pull my gun from my pocket and shoot you.” The deputy said he “observed [her] ... pull from her right pants pocket a shiny metallic handgun and point it at my face and squeeze hard on the trigger.” Cary said he took cover while White used the driver as a shield. He said he then tried to approach the van again, but White pointed her gun out the window.

The driver stepped out of the van and Cary detained him. Sheriff T.A. Bailey arrived soon after, but White already locked the van and rolled up its windows.

She allegedly drove away, gun in hand. “It appeared to be an attempt to run into [Bailey] and escape,” the complaint states.

Cary heard two gunshots ring out from the van, and he fired one shot in response, according to the complaint. He later learned Bailey shot one of the van’s front tires.

The men chased White as she drove on U.S. 19, where she allegedly hit a car and ran several others off the road. She then lost control of the van in the Kegley area of Mercer County. White, the complaint states, drove through several yards and almost hit two children who sat on a four-wheeler.

Though Cary tried to stop her in a church parking lot, White allegedly crashed into his car and then ran.

The van continued to roll before it crashed into a home. The damage totaled more than $6,000, the complaint states.

Bailey and Cary chased her behind the home and wrestled her to the ground.

“She took my gun,” Bailey yelled, according to the complaint.

White allegedly took the sheriff’s gun and slipped her finger into the trigger guard. She fired a single shot in the ground, the complaint states, and the men hit White’s arms and sides until she gave up.

Authorities searched the crime scenes as White recovered at Princeton Community Hospital.

A detective found cocaine, according to the complaint. Authorities also found a small handgun in the van.

The van’s driver later told police he was driving White to pick up her boyfriend, who was at a court hearing.

He said White was “shooting up” cocaine in the back seat and bragging about her gun, the complaint states.

The driver apologized for the altercation. According to the complaint, he “froze and did not know what to do.”

Deputies arrested White on three counts of attempted murder and two counts of wanton endangerment. She also received charges of fleeing, disarming an officer and destruction of property.

White remained at Southern Regional Jail in lieu of a million-dollar bail on Friday morning.

She is also accused of forgery and uttering, according to a 2016 indictment filed in Mercer County Circuit Court.

Reach Giuseppe Sabella at giuseppe.sabella@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-5189 or follow @Gsabella on Twitter.

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