|UPDATED: Rockbridge Sheriff Bob Day Served With Assault & Battery Warrant|
|By Jerry E. Clark|
(Editor's note: we've made a couple of modifications to this story since our printed edition went to press: Mr. Foresman's title was corrected and it has been learned that the warrant may have been issued from Richmond, not Staunton.)
Rockbridge County Sheriff Robert Day was served with an assault and battery warrant Tuesday (October 20, 2009) in connection with an incident at the County Administration Building on Wednesday, October 14.
The Virginia State Police executed the warrant after a Staunton area magistrate received evidence from Rockbridge County Deputy Emergency Services Coordinator Robert Foresman in connection with an event at the County Administration Building last week.
The Lexington Police Department released the following statement on Tuesday:
"On October 14, 2009, the Lexington Police Department received a complaint from Rockbridge County Emergency Services Coordinator Robert Foresman about an alleged incident that had taken place in his office located in the County Administration Building on 150 S. Main Street, Lexington, Virginia.
"As a result of this complaint, the Sheriff of Rockbridge County, Mr. Robert W. Day, was charged with assault and battery. A preliminary court date has been set for October 27, 2009 at 8:30 a.m.
"The Lexington Police Department will have no further comments on this matter."
(the statement was signed by Lexington Police Chief, Steven E. Crowder).
Details of the alleged assault and battery incident are sketchy, but it is known that Sheriff Day appeared in Foresman's office not long after Foresman, who operates the Rockbridge Alert email system for the county, apparently released some details he had learned about a second robbery at the W. Midland Trail Stop-In store. That second robbery occurred at about 3:30 a.m. that day.
Foresman told the Rockbridge Weekly that the information contained in the email alert was essentially what he had learned from a radio report issued by WREL earlier that morning.
Apparently, a heated discussion took place between Day and Foresman in Foresman's office, with Foresman later telling the Lexington Police Department that Day had used his finger on or about his chest with some strong words to the effect that he was not happy about the release of the information.
Some female county employees also apparently heard the loud and frank discussion between the two men (through a neighboring office wall) with one or more of them providing at least partial corroborating evidence of the event.
Since Day is a constitutional officer, the arrest warrant was delayed because a Staunton area megistrate was then sought to hear details of the incident. That was expected to have taken place last Friday, but didn't occur until sometime early Monday.
The Rockbridge Weekly has contacted the Sheriff's Office for a statement, but as of this time, hasn't received a reply. Readers should check this page later for additional details, including a statement from the Sheriff's Office, if one beccomes available.
At 1:15 p.m. the Weekly received the following statement from Foresman via fax:
"Robert Foresman's Statements Concerning The Incident With Sheriff Robert Day on Wednesday, October 14, 2009"
â€¢ "On the morning of October 14, 2009, Rockbridge County Sheriff Robert Day entered my County office for what I expected to be a normal discussion when, without provocation, he chose to escalate his actions beyond professional conduct.
â€¢ "Unfortunately, as a direct result of Sheriff Day's conduct, I was left with no other choice than to turn the matter over to law enforcement officials to investigate and to determine the appropriate course of action, based on my statement and those of witnesses.
â€¢ "I look forward to seeing this matter resolved in a manner that is in the best interests of our communities and their citizens.
â€¢ "I want to be clear that as a lifelong resident of this community and wit a quarter century of public safety service in the City of Lexington and Rockbridge County, I know the deputies of Rockbridge County Sheriff's Department to be highly committed and professional and this incident should in no way reflect negatively on their effort to serve the citizens.
â€¢ "Since the issue is now in the hands of the local Commonwealth's Attorney and Courts, it would be inappropriate for me to offer any additional comments."