Wheeling Police Officer Is Accused of Domestic Violence

SKINNER

WHEELING — City police officer Jacob Skinner has been placed on administrative leave after being arrested Tuesday for alleged domestic violence.

Skinner was charged with malicious wounding and arraigned Tuesday by Ohio County Magistrate Charles Murphy. He posted $5,000 bond.

Skinner’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Sept. 6 before Ohio County Magistrate Patricia Murphy, a court spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger also released a statement Wednesday morning.

“Jacob Skinner has been a law enforcement officer in good standing since 2016,” said Schwertfeger. “We are aware that charges have been filed on Tuesday by the Ohio County Sheriff’s Office.”

According to the sheriff’s office, deputies were notified when Skinner’s ex-girlfriend informed them that he had struck her in the face. The woman alleges that she and Skinner had been at the Mountaineer Brewfest on Saturday evening, but they had to leave early when Skinner and another man got into a fight.

From there, they went to a downtown restaurant, she said. The ex-girlfriend said she and Skinner got into an argument at the restaurant because she had a conversation with another man with whom she had a previous relationship.

The woman said she left the restaurant and went to Skinner’s residence. She said let herself in with her own key, but Skinner allegedly showed up and became physically violent with her.

At the residence, the ex-girlfriend said Skinner “took her down,” which resulted in her hitting her head off the refrigerator. Skinner then allegedly proceeded to punch her in the face, which caused what she described as a loud crack. She said she left the residence and went to the hospital, where she said she was advised that she had nasal and orbital fractures.

Deputies said the woman had serious visible bruising to her face.

Schwertfeger said Skinner has been placed on leave with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation by the police department’s Office of Professional Standards and court proceedings.

“As a law enforcement agency, the Wheeling Police Department recognizes the seriousness of domestic violence,” the chief said. “Having said that, police officers, like citizens, deserve a thorough investigation and due process.”

Schwertfeger added, “Since this is a personnel matter, and out of respect for the investigation, no other additional comment will be made at this time.”

Staff Writer Alan Olson contributed to this report.

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