GRAFTON—A Grafton man is behind bars after stealing a fire truck and causing damage to the Grafton Fire Department’s (GFD) Beech Street facility.
38-year-old Jason Allen Lyons has been arrested and charged with felonious entry of a building other than a dwelling, grand larceny and destruction of property after an incident that took place on September 5.
According to the criminal complaint filed by Patrolman Cameron Forte, he was dispatched to the Taylor County Courthouse where Taylor County Sheriff’s Deputy Dylan Johnson had a person detained inside a truck belonging to the fire department.
When he arrived on scene, the officer noted the apparatus parked sideways in the roadway, facing the courthouse entrance. Lyons had been removed from the vehicle by the deputy.
Due to an incident earlier in the evening, the officer learned that the defendant’s driver’s license had been suspended.
Lyons was taken into custody and held while the officers assessed the impact of the defendant’s actions. Patrolman Forte and Grafton Police Department Corporal Coleman Durrett went to assess the damage at the GFD’s Beech Street location.
According to the report, when they arrived on scene, they noted the main gate to the facility laying bent and mangled on the ground. They made contact with a witness who stated that Lyons had made a circle around the building and busted through the gate.
After further investigation, the officers observed damage to a garage door on the building, as well as a broken frame on the bay door. They noted that the defendant had used Truck 109 to crash through the door of the building.
The report states that debris from the truck, including a handrail and the vehicles emergency lights was laying outside of the garage door, and that the door was dented inward and knocked completely off its track.
Once inside the facility, Lyons entered Truck 1, the department’s ladder truck, and turned it on, activating the apparatus’s camera. While trying to start the truck’s ignition, the defendant pulled wires out from under the dashboard.
Unable to start the vehicle, Lyons then returned to Truck 109, rammed through the gate at the top of the hill and made his way to the courthouse, where he was stopped by Deputy Johnson. It is believed that the defendant was going to attempt to ram the building before he was halted.
The report notes that while searching the premises of the Beech Street building, they found three storage containers that had been opened and ransacked. The defendant had also gained access to the building’s breaker box, as well.
Grafton Firefighters were called to the scene to help assess the damage done by Lyons, and reported that they too were unable to start Truck 1, after the wires had been pulled out.
In speaking with Grafton Fire Chief Wayne Beall, the officers learned that there was considerable damage done to the department’s property.
Beall reported that Truck 109 sustained approximately $20,000 worth of damage, while Lyon’s actions caused nearly $15,000 worth of damage to the building.
It was revealed that the insurance value of Truck 109 is up to $50,000, while Truck 1 is up to $75,000.
Lyons was processed and then transported to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail, where he is currently being held on a $20,000 cash or surety bond.