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Salem police arrest motorcyclist who fled after shots fired downtown

The 25-year-old motorcyclist that police say eluded officers who were investigating a report of gunshots in downtown Salem Monday night has been arrested.

Griffin Ian Newman


Griffin Ian Newman was taken into custody at 8:11 p.m. Tuesday without incident. Police said in a press release that he was arrested in Salem and is being held at the Western Virginia Regional Jail without bond.

According to the jail’s online system, Newman faces seven charges: carrying a handgun while under the influence, carrying a concealed weapon, discharging a firearm in a public place, reckless handling a firearm, reckless driving, brandishing a firearm and eluding police.

On Monday evening, Salem police responded to a 911 call about gunshots in the parking lot behind a business in the 200 block of East Main Street.

Police were told that a suspect fled the scene on a motorcycle. Officers pursued the motorcyclist along West Main Street.

The chase ended at the street’s intersection with Wildwood Road, where two police cruisers collided and three police officers sustained minor injuries.

Newman has a traffic record in the region that dates from 2016, according to Virginia’s online court case information system. Those charges include speeding and moving violations, defective equipment and lack of a motorcyle operators license, among others.

Newman has not yet been scheduled to appear in court for charges related to Monday night’s incident.


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Emma Coleman covers public safety and courts in the Roanoke Valley. She can be reached at (540) 981-3198 or

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