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Sunday, September 6, 2009

[US][WV] Federal Agent Sirbaugh free on bond after his domestic assault and (home-made bayonette) brandishing "family situation"

A federal agent charged in a domestic conflict that drew the response of more than a dozen police units is free on bond. Special Agent James E. Sirbaugh of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was arraigned Thursday by Ohio County Magistrate Harry Radcliffe on charges of brandishing and domestic assault... Ohio County Prosecutor Scott Smith said Sirbaugh's position is what prompted a large response by law enforcement...

I wondered why he used a knife until I saw that his weapons had been removed before the incident. There's no indication why.

Warrant Issued For Local ATF Agent
wtov9.com
August 27, 2009
A local federal agent will be served with an arrest warrant after a domestic disturbance that led to several homes being evacuated. According to West Virginia state police, a warrant for domestic assault and brandishing a weapon was issued for James Sirbaugh, a U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent based in Wheeling. Investigators said they evacuated several homes in the upscale Stonegate section of Wheeling on Friday for a "family situation."... According to the warrant, deputies were told Sirbaugh was armed with a knife and bow and arrow inside the home... Officers spoke with the alleged victim, who told police Sirbaugh had been questioning her about her prior marriage. According to the warrant, she told Sirbaugh she was leaving, but he did not want her to go. Police said Sirbaugh had a knife taped to a flagpole and used it to slash her vehicle's tires... then went back into the house and threw items at her car from a second-story window... [LINK]

Agent in Stonegate Is Facing Charges
Prosecutor claims health care privacy rules limit comments
Wheeling News Register
By Fred Connors
August 27, 2009
...As events unfolded, law enforcement officers blocked access to half of the Stonegate development and told residents to stay in their homes or vehicles... As of Tuesday evening, law enforcement officials had refused to publicly comment on what caused 13 cruisers to respond... Ohio County Sheriff Pat Butler described what occurred there as a "family situation"... "Due to his hospitalization, law enforcement agencies and the Ohio County Prosecutor's Office are limited as to what can be released due to medical privacy concerns with the (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) requirements," [Ohio County Prosecutor Scott] Smith said. [LINK]

...[Ohio County Prosecutor Scott] Smith did verify that responding officers searched the Sirbaugh home for explosives "out of an abundance of caution." He said the probe was prompted by a comment Sirbaugh made upon exiting his house...

Secrecy Did Not Serve the Public
Wheeling News Register
POSTED: August 27, 2009
...Residents of our area ought to be infuriated about the situation... Later, as our reporters attempted to find out what had happened, law enforcement officials at all levels imposed a news blackout... Residents of the neighborhood and the surrounding area were left to wonder... While most "domestic" incidents do not call for release of much information, this one appears to have involved potential danger to the public. Law enforcement officials are wrong to withhold information about it. [LINK]

BATF agent to be hospitalized again before arraignment
Sirbaugh Hearing Delayed
Wheeling News Register
By JENNIFER COMPSTON-STROUGH
September 2, 2009
Officials decided not to proceed with the planned arraignment of James E. Sirbaugh on Tuesday, when Ohio County Prosecutor Scott Smith took steps to have Sirbaugh rehospitalized... Smith said the warrant includes misdemeanor charges of domestic assault and brandishing, but it has not yet been served on Sirbaugh. Smith added that he cannot predict when the warrant will be served... No public hearing was held... [LINK]

ATF Agent Placed On Home Confinement In Virginia
James Sirbaugh's attorney argues he's being treated unfairly.

WTRF.com
Story by Dave Elias delias@wtrf.com
September 3, 2009
...Today in court he's ordered to home confinement in Virginia, where he'll live with his parents. Sirbaugh left an Ohio County courtroom today wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet with GPS which can track his whereabouts. Sirbaugh's Attorney Kevin Neiswonger said, "It's not fair to single out Mr. Sirbaugh and make an example out of him because he is a police officer and because this has drawn media attention." However Ohio County Prosecutor Scott Smith argues that many members of the community are concerned about his wherabouts. Although Sirbaugh will be living several hours away, GPS is the only way to determine if he's left that area and could be coming to Wheeling. Sirbaugh posted bond which was set at $3,500 dollars. Sirbaugh was also ordered not to consumer alcohol or go anywhere it is served. Nor can this man who once owned firearms possess any at this time. [LINK]

...According to the warrant, she told Sirbaugh she was leaving, but he did not want her to go. Police said Sirbaugh had a knife taped to a flagpole...

Sirbaugh’s Job Prompted Heavy Police Response
Prosecutor details domestic incident that shut down Stonegate

Wheeling News Register
Jennifer Compston-Strough
September 3, 2009
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed Wednesday that Special Agent James E. Sirbaugh is on leave as a domestic incident at his home is investigated. "He is on leave status at this time," said Washington, D.C.-based ATF spokesman Drew Wade, who declined to say whether the leave was initiated before or after the incident at Sirbaugh's Stonegate Drive residence in Ohio County. Wade added that Sirbaugh did not have a service weapon in his possession when the incident occurred. "I can confirm the ATF had relieved Sirbaugh of his service weapon before the incident," Wade said... According to Wade, Sirbaugh has been employed as a special agent with the ATF for 13 years... Ohio County Prosecutor Scott Smith said Sirbaugh's position is what prompted a large response by law enforcement when a domestic dispute between Sirbaugh and his wife was reported on Aug. 21... He was not arraigned Tuesday, and Smith said he could not predict when the warrant containing those charges would be served on Sirbaugh. "In the end, it wasn't as serious as law enforcement had feared," Smith added... Smith did verify that responding officers searched the Sirbaugh home for explosives "out of an abundance of caution." He said the probe was prompted by a comment Sirbaugh made upon exiting his house, warning officers who would enter the basement to be careful of an alarm system Smith believed he had "rigged up"... [LINK]

ATF Agent Arraigned, Released From CustodyLocal
wtov9
September 4, 2009
A federal agent at the center of a domestic disturbance that frightened a Wheeling neighborhood is no longer in custody... [LINK]

ATF AGENT FREED ON $1,000 BOND
Wheeling News Register
theintelligencer.net
By GABE WELLS
September 5, 2009
A federal agent charged in a domestic conflict that drew the response of more than a dozen police units is free on bond. Special Agent James E. Sirbaugh of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was arraigned Thursday by Ohio County Magistrate Harry Radcliffe on charges of brandishing and domestic assault... Sirbaugh was released after posting $1,000 bond Thursday on the domestic assault charge and $2,500 on the count of brandishing. She said the next hearing in the case will not be scheduled until a magistrate is assigned to the proceedings. She expects the case to be assigned Tuesday... [LINK]
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