West Virginia State Police officials deny that a student was beaten while unconscious during a training session at the State Police Academy and would welcome an independent investigation, reports the Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette. Gov. Joe Manchin backs such a probe. Princeton, W.Va., police officer Christopher Winkler said two academy trainers beat him during baton training on April 5.
State Police Superintendent Col. Timothy Pack said Winkler didn’t receive any direct hits to the head or neck. He said the training was immediately halted when it became apparent that Winkler was in distress. Winkler’s mother, Pamela McPeak, said an instructor told her in the hospital after her son was injured that he saved Winkler’s life by pulling two other instructors off Winkler when they continued to beat him while he was unconscious. Winkler still has a blood clot in his brain and has not been able to return to work for the Princeton police department, McPeak said.