Group Acknowledges Two Brooke County Deputies From Bethany College Fight

Photo by Warren Scott Diane Baughman Huggins, founder of Covering the Blue, presented black and blue afghans to Brooke County Sheriff’s Deputies Nile Cline, front, and Kristen Richmond and police dog Dakota during Tuesday’s Brooke County Commission meeting. Observing from behind are, from left, Sheriff Larry Palmer and Commissioners Stacey Wise and Tim Ennis.

Two Brooke County sheriff’s deputies and the office’s police dog were acknowledged Tuesday for their efforts.

Representatives of Covering the Blue presented black and blue afghans sewn by members of the volunteer group to Cpl. Kristen Richmond, her police dog, Dakota, and Sgt. Nile Cline.

Diane Baughman Huggins, of Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, the group’s founder, said she appreciates the service of law enforcement officers everywhere and is bothered when any are injured or killed in the line of duty.

She said the sentiment is shared by the group’s 281 members throughout the United States, who communicate via Facebook and include 23 who crochet or knit the afghans and other items for police.

Each features a thin blue line inspired by the lines painted in recent years on the streets outside law enforcement departments.

Joining Huggins was Terry Cook of Bulger, Pennsylvania, whose efforts creating the afghans were inspired by her mother, the first female police officer in Heidelberg, Pennsylvania, and grandfather, the community’s first police chief.

Huggins said many had suggested recognizing Richmond when she met her, coincidentally, a community event.

Brooke County Sheriff Larry Palmer said Richmond sustained a broken nose and fractured sinus, during a fight July 29 with college student Brandon Lamar Jackson at Bethany College. Cline had ligament damage to his hand from the same fight.

According to reports, the sheriff’s office’s K-9 unit was dispatched to Bethany College after a man was seen throwing things out of a third floor window and was bleeding.

Richmond reported finding the man bleeding. She and other deputies said he appeared to be hallucinating as he fled from them and resisted their efforts to apprehend him.

Palmer said during the struggle, Jackson allegedly struck Richmond in the face and allegedly bit Cline in the hand.

Jackson faces charges of fleeing on foot, public intoxication, two counts of assault on an officer and three counts of destruction of property.

His case is in Brooke County Magistrate Court.