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Deputies investigate second hostage incident

By Staff | Mar 4, 2009

Joseph Michael Pachuta

The Tyler County Sheriff’s Department netted their second felony kidnapping arrest in as many weeks following an incident which occurred on Feb. 26.

Joseph Michael Pachuta, 48, of H.C. 60 Box 116, Lima, W.Va, was arrested and charged with one felony count of kidnapping or holding hostage and one misdemeanor count of domestic assault after a phone call received by the Tyler County E-911 Center.

“We received a 911 call from one of the victim’s friends advising that Joseph Pachuta would not let the victim leave his residence,” stated Cpl. Shannon Huffman. “She also advised the victim had been there since the day before.”

According to the criminal complaint, the victim had gone to Pachuta’s residence around 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 25 to pick up her things and the incident escalated. When she would attempt to leave, Pachuta would get in front of her and block the door. The confrontation went on throughout the night, with Pachuta walking around the house yelling and screaming at the victim until early morning when she contacted a friend to call for help.

West Virginia Code 61-2-14a (enticing away, kidnapping or holding hostage any person) states that any person who, by force, threat, duress, fraud or enticement takes, confines or otherwise kidnaps any person or holds hostage any person in this state with the intent of shielding or protecting himself of evading capture or arrest after he had committed a crime may face a penalty of not less than 10 years or more than 30 years in prison; West Virginia Code 61-2-28b (domestic assault) states that any person who unlawfully attempts to commit a violent injury against his family or household member or unlawfully commits an act which places his family member in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving an injury may face a penalty of not more than six months in jail or fined not more than $100, or both.

For his alleged crimes, Pachuta was remanded to the North Central Regional Jail where he is being held on $75,000 bond. He was ordered to appear in Magistrate Court on March 9 at 9:30 a.m.

In addition to Huffman, Deputy Scott Dalrymple, Sheriff Bob Kendle, Sgt. Dean Pratt of the Tyler County Sheriff’s Department and Cpl. C.J. Lantz of the West Virginia State Police assisted in the investigation.