A father has been charged with using his seven-year-old son as a human shield when a police officer pointed his gun at him in West Virginia. Philip Spurlock, 45, from North Carolina, allegedly grabbed his child from his seat after police stopped him for talking on his mobile phone while driving.
The incident is said to have happened on Thursday, 11 August, with Spurlock subsequently charged with kidnapping and child neglect, according to a criminal complaint. He was arrested by a West Virginia State trooper in the Kanawha City Area of Charleston.
Prosecutors say a trooper tried to conduct a traffic stop on Spurlock. When the arresting officer told Spurlock why he was pulled over, Spurlock began to argue with the policeman. In his rage, he then sped off from the scene leading the officer through residential areas before he eventually stopped.
It is alleged that when the officer ordered Spurlock to the ground at gunpoint he ran around to the passenger side of the vehicle and grabbed his seven-year-old son to use as him a human shield. WSAZ reported that the officer then put his gun away before Spurlock ran, dragging his son along with him by his arm.
This forced the arresting officer to give chase again targeting Spurlock in the leg with a baton as he continuously resisted arrest, say prosecutors. When this failed, the officer used pepper spray, despite Spurlock again using his child as a human shield.
Eventually, the suspect fell to the ground releasing his son before he attacked the trooper with a barrage of punches, the criminal complaint said. The state police officer says he was then he was finally able to cuff Spurlock put him, and his son, in the back of a police cruiser and take them to the police station.
The boy's mother picked the child up. Spurlock remains in custody after being charged with kidnapping and child neglect. Reports say that the reason Spurlock evaded police was that he believed he had a domestic violence warrant issued for him by Columbia police based in South Carolina.