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Man arrested after threatening officers, running into mall with large sticks

A Charleston man is facing multiple charges after he tried attacking Charleston police officers and ran into the Charleston Town Center wielding a large stick. (Rob Slack)

A Charleston man is facing multiple charges after he tried attacking Charleston police officers and ran into the Charleston Town Center wielding a large stick.

At about 5:15 Friday afternoon, Charleston police responded to a call of a combative patient, who was later identified as J.P. Watkins, 38, at CAMC General, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

When police arrived, they found Watkins swing a large stick and pointing it aggressively at police. When police attempted to tried to apprehend Watkins, the release said he repeatedly pointed the stick at police in a threatening manner.

According to the complaint, Watkins ran from police and was then spotted at the transit mall swinging the stick at by standers.

When police tried to arrest him, he took off toward the Charleston Town Center where a security guard tried to stop him. The complaint said Watkins then tried to hit the guard with the stick.

Watkins then made it into the Charleston Town Center where he slipped and fell while still armed with the stick. The complaint said police repeatedly told Watkins to drop the stick and eventually shot him with a stun gun.

According to the complaint, Watkins pulled the stun gun probes out of his chest and tried to strike an officer with his first.

After a short altercation with officer, Watkins was taken into custody.

Watkins is charged with fleeing, obstructing an officer, brandishing a weapon, assault, and assault on a police officer. He is being held in the South Central Regional Jail.

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