BELLAIRE - The Bellaire Police Department is already shorthanded.
After events early Sunday morning, the department will be down another veteran officer for a while.
Bellaire Police Chief Mike Kovalyk reported that Lt. William Shallcross was assaulted during an arrest at approximately 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning.
Lt. Shallcross and Lt. J.J. Watson were dispatched to the BP Gas Station on reports of a minor crash involving an allegedly intoxicated male.
The male, Christopher Hess, 35 of Neffs, was the owner of one vehicle involved in the crash. However, Hess was not the driver.
Hess was asked for the information for his vehicle, but he refused to cooperate and became belligerent with the officers according to Kovalyk.
Hess attempted to grab Lt. Shallcross as he was being subdued by Shallcross, Watson and Officer Keven Yates from the Bridgeport Police Department.
As Hess was being taken to the ground, Shallcross received multiple injuries.
Those injuries required hospitalization as Shallcross was taken to Ohio Valley Medical Center for treatment.
Hess was charged with persistent disorderly conduct and felonious assault on an officer. He was transported to the Belmont County Jail by Yates.
Several officers from the Bellaire Police Department have left recently for more lucrative employment with neighboring departments and the loss of Shallcross will further deplete the Bellaire roster.
"This multiplies a safety issue, not only for our officers, but for the community itself," Kovalyk said.
Hughes may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org