Pocahontas County Sheriffs Dept Investigates Alleged Beating Of Local Pastor
Marlinton, WV – The Pocahontas County Sheriff’s Office and West Virginia State Police are investigating an alleged beating of Pastor Aaron Trigg at Trinity Baptist Church on Tuesday morning. Trigg told police two men dressed in camouflage entered the church, while he was praying, pushed him down, kicked him and told him, “We don’t need your kind messing with our county.”
Trigg was being treated at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital on Wednesday morning, and said he might be transferred to a Charleston hospital for a suspected pinched nerve. The pastor declined to give a recorded comment. Major David Walton of the Pocahontas County Sheriff’s Department says the investigation is ongoing.
“The Pocahontas County Sheriff’s Department, in conjunction with West Virginia State Police, are still investigating an allegation that, sometime shortly before 8:30 yesterday morning, someone entered the Trinity Baptist Church, physically attacked Reverend Aaron Trigg and done physical damage – minor, minor – I want to add, some minor damage inside the church,” he said.
Walton says no weapons were used.
“No weapons were used,” he said. “According to Pastor Trigg, it was done entirely just with the use of hands and feet. He was, I think, pushed backwards and kicked in the back.”
The major says Trigg is the only witness to the attack, other than the alleged perpetrators.
“The only people that were present at the time of the attack were Pastor Trigg and the two alleged perpetrators, who were dressed in full camouflage with camouflage netting covering their face,” he said. Those were the only three people that were, supposedly, on the scene during the attack.”
Walton says the FBI is ready to assist if there is evidence of a hate crime, but is not currently involved with the investigation.
“The FBI is not doing any kind of an investigation,” he said. We have been in contact with the FBI, because we were exploring the possibility that this may turn into be a hate crime. If it does, then of course, the FBI would come in and give us assistance.”
The officer says possibilities are being explored but no clues can be released.
“As you know, investigations take time,” he said. “We are looking into some possibilities, but we don’t have any specific clues that we can release, at this time.”
Walton says members of the community should be aware of their surroundings.
“I don’t think that we got people in the neighborhood who’s going to go around and just randomly attacking the citizens of the county,” he said. “I don’t believe that. But, everyone should probably keep their guard up and stay alert of their surroundings.”
Major Walton urges anyone observing suspicious activity or people to contact the Pocahontas County Sheriff’s Office at 304-799-4445 or the West Virginia State Police at 304-799-4101.