Ronnie Lee Long of La Mesa Mobile Home Park in Morgantown, West Virginia was arrested and is now being held on $250,000 on charges that he stole a 1975 Corvette. During the theft, Long led authorities on a chase that culminated with the Corvette crashing into a tow truck. The Corvette is owned by Rocky Manchin, brother of US Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
Although Long was injured in the crash and taken to the hospital, he had disconnected the IV tubes and fled the scene before police could charge him. He remained at large for about a week before US Marshalls caught up with him at a local Dairy Mart.
Rock Manchin’s father John purchased the Blue Metallic Corvette for him in 1974. It had only 60,000 miles on at the time of the theft and had just been repainted. Although the Corvette is a total loss, Manchin is quoted as saying “I was sad to see what happened to my car, but it’s just a vehicle.”
In a news release touting the capture of Long, Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Alex P. Neville said of the Corvette: “Rocky’s father purchased this car for him when he was a very young man and I’m sure it held a special place in Rock’s heart,” Neville said. “Not only did Long allegedly commit serious crimes against the state by he demolished a beautiful piece of machinery which held great sentimental value.”
Charleston Daily Mail