Wharncliffe resident arrested on obscenity-related charges

Rachel Dove rbaldwin@civitasmedia.com

February 5, 2014

By Rachel Dove


WHARNCLIFFE - A man who had served as chief of the Wharncliffe Volunteer Fire Department, a volunteer firefighter with the Gilbert VFD and who was also had been employed as an EMT with STAT Ambulance was arrested by West Virginia State Police on charges of obscene matter distribution/display to a minor and obscene matter with intent to seduce a minor.

Anthony Keith Yates, 34, allegedly sent a digital photograph of his penis to a 12-year-old girl, asking her to send him a nude picture of herself in return. According to the criminal complaint filed by the arresting officer, Senior Trooper J.D. Matheny, the incident occurred Saturday and was reported by the father of the victim.

Upon being arrested and after he was advised of his Miranda rights, Yates reportedly confessed to Matheny that he was well aware the victim was only 12 years of age when he sent the nude photo to her via an Apple IPhone application known as Kik (a free-texting type application commonly used with Apple products).

While being booked on the charges associated with the preteen, a records check produced an outstanding warrant that had been issued against Yates in 2011 for charges of domestic battery and domestic assault, in which he is alleged to have “back-handed” his spouse across her face days after she had undergone abdominal surgery. That case had been investigated by state police Trooper J.T. Robinson, who was previously assigned to the Gilbert detachment.

The 2011 complaint states that the victim, Danielle Yates, advised the officer that she was at her residence with a friend when the accused arrived at the residence. The victim said Yates slammed her into the door and wall, before back-handing her in the face as he walked past her. The trooper said he observed redness and swelling on the victim’s face that were consistent with what would result from a back-handed smack.

According to Gilbert Fire Chief Mike Tolley, Yates resigned as chief of the Wharncliffe VFD, and has been placed on inactive status with the Gilbert VFD. STAT Supervisor Ricky “Rebel” Carey told the Williamson Daily News that Yates had been suspended indefinitely as an EMT-B, saying he came to work for their ambulance service following the closure of Gilbert-based Stafford EMS.

Yates was arraigned on all charges before Mingo County Magistrate Pam Newsome, and was released from custody after posting 10 percent cash of his $52,000 bond.