The Virginia State Police and Carroll County Sheriff’s Office are assisting the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office is the search for a Hillsville man accused of slashing a Wythe County Deputy with a knife early Sunday morning.
According to Wythe County Chief Deputy Keith Dunagan, deputies from the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a trespassing complaint on Rose Hollow Road in the Max Meadow/Major Grahams area of Wythe County at approximately 1:40 a.m. Upon arrival, deputies met with the land owner, who told them someone was trespassing on his property and had built a fire. Two deputies went to the area of the fire and located four individuals there.
“When the deputies approached them, one of the individuals fled on foot and was pursued by a deputy. The deputy caught the fleeing suspect and when he grabbed him the suspect slashed his hand with a knife, causing him to lose his grip,” Dunagan said. “The suspect then dove into New River and escaped.”
Dunagan said the three remaining suspects identified the escaped suspect as Cheston A. Stoneman, 32, of Hillsville. Stoneman is charged with felony malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer, felony obstruction of justice, and misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Stoneman remains at large and is believed to be in possession of a .38 caliber revolver. Anyone with any information about Stoneman’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office at (276) 223-6000, the Virginia State Police at 1-800-542-8716 or the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office at (276) 728-4146.
“He is considered armed and potentially dangerous and is a flight risk,” said Virginia State Police 1st Sgt. Mike Musser.
Also charged in the Sunday morning incident are Taylor Stoneman, 18, of Hillsville, and Joy Lawrence, 31, of Galax. Both have been charged with misdemeanor offenses of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and giving a false report to a law enforcement officer.
Dunagan said a 16-year-old female from Galax was also located at the scene, but does not face charges at this time. He said the injured deputy, Zack Puckett, was treated at Wythe County Community Hospital and released.
“The deputy had a bunch of stitches in his hand,” Dunagan said. “He has about a two-inch cut between his thumb and forefinger that is pretty deep.”