UPDATE: Driver Charged After Crashing SUV into Home; Resident Says it was Over a Laptop

By: Andrew Colegrove; Jeremy Edwards Email
By: Andrew Colegrove; Jeremy Edwards Email
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A woman says the suspect was angry over a laptop he accused her of stealing. Steven Clay, 39, of Yawkey, is facing burglary and felony destruction of property charges after police say he crashed his SUV into a house in Charleston.

WSAZ Photo/Hillary Hall

UPDATE 4/16/14 @ 10 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A man is behind bars after police say he rammed his SUV into a home repeatedly until both the car and the house caught fire.

It all happened just after 8 p.m. Tuesday on South Ruffner Road in Charleston.

Steven Clay was arraigned Wednesday on charges of battery and destruction of property.

The people who were in the home say it all started over a laptop.

Denise Cottrill had just finished eating tacos with friends and family in her home when Clay, a man she says she hadn't seen since last summer, dropped by along with his mother.

"He was cussing, screaming, hollering," Cottrill said.

Cottrill says they busted through the front door

"We had to fight him, but we got him out the door," she said.

She says Clay was angry over a laptop he accused her of stealing.

Cottrill says those accusations are false.

"I know he had a laptop, but I don't know what happened to it," she said.

Cottrill watched as the two got back in their car and accelerated toward her home.

"He hit the side of the house, and backed up and kept ramming it, eight or 10 times," she said.

The car then caught fire, spreading onto another car in the driveway and the side of the house.

“You're gonna set a car on fire and a house on fire and endanger all these people's lives and your mom's and yours?" Cottrill said.

Denise Short's car was burnt up and destroyed during the incident.

"I’d just paid it off," Short said.

Short’s daughter borrowed it Tuesday night and was visiting at Cottrill’s home.

"You worry about (your kids) wrecking or scratching it, the kids mashing Cheerios in the back, but nothing like this," Short said.

Police caught up with Clay and his mom not far away, but Cottrill says she's afraid this won't be the end.

"I don’t think I'll ever feel safe here again,” Cottrill said. “If he went to this length, I think he'll do it again."

Clay's mother was taken to the hospital after being hurt during that incident. Police say she may also end up facing charges.



UPDATE 4/16/14 @ 5:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man is behind bars after police say he rammed his SUV into a home repeatedly, before it caught fire.

Steven Clay, 39, of Yawkey, was arraigned Wednesday afternoon on charges of battery and destruction of property.

Police say Clay went to a home on South Ruffner Road in Charleston Tuesday night.

He is accused of busting in the front door of the home and getting into a fight with the people inside.

Police say Clay hit one person, then got into his SUV and drove it into the house several times.

The SUV caught fire and spread to the house and another car.

Police say Clay's mother was also in the SUV. She's in the hospital, after being hurt in the incident. She may also face charges in the case.



UPDATE 4/16/14 @ 9:15 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man is facing charges after police say he rammed his SUV into a home repeatedly before it caught fire.

Charleston Police tell WSAZ.com they will charge Steven Clay, 39, of Yawkey, with burglary and felony of destruction of property when he is released from the hospital.

Police say Clay busted into the front door of a home on South Ruffner Road Tuesday night and got into a fight with the people inside.

The people ran out the back door of the house.

Police say Clay then went out to his SUV and repeatedly rammed into into the home until it caught on fire.

The fire spread to the home and causing damage.

Clay and his passenger were taken to the hospital.

Clay is expected to be released from the hospital sometime Wednesday.

His passenger could also face charges when they are released from the hospital. The passenger's name is not being released.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 4/15/14 @ 9:55 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The driver and passenger of an SUV that crashed into a home Tuesday night were in a fight with the owners of the house, Charleston Police say.

Officers said the driver backed the Chevrolet Blazer up and tried ramming the front of the house, hitting one of the cars and side-swiping another on the street in the 800 block of South Ruffner Road in Charleston.

When that didn't work, the driver then drove into the corner of the house, police said.

The driver then set the Blazer on fire, which then caught the house on fire.

Everyone managed to get out of the home safely, including some kids.

The driver and passenger took off on foot but were caught by police. One of them had a gun. The whole incident began about 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Both were taken to be checked out for their injuries. They both will be charged with arson and assault and battery, among other charges.

Neighbors said they believe the incident may have started over a stolen laptop computer, saying they heard a man say his was taken.

South Ruffner Road was temporarily closed in that area.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



ORIGINAL STORY 4/15/14 @ 8:53 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An SUV crashed into two other vehicles and a house before exploding and catching the home on fire in the 800 block of South Ruffner Road, Metro 911 dispatchers say.

It was reported about 8 p.m. Tuesday night. South Ruffner Road is closed in that area.

Everyone made it out of the home safely, and no injuries were immediately reported.

The driver of a green Chevrolet Blazer started the sequence of events.

Charleston Police are at the scene. We also have a crew there.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.


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