Special unit used to arrest man wanted in Brooke

NEW CUMBERLAND – A Weirton man has been arrested for probation violation after failing to cooperate in the Brooke County Sheriff’s Department’s investigation of the death of a Colliers man, Brooke County Sheriff Chuck Jackson said today.

Jackson said his department sought to question Bruce David Reinhardt, 22, of Weirton about the death of Patrick Thomas, who was found dead in his Tent Church Road home on April 22.

Jackson said the sheriff’s department wanted to interview Reinhardt in connection with Thomas’ death. He said evidence found at Thomas’ home indicated foul play was involved but wouldn’t comment further.

The sheriff said Thomas’ body was taken to the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Charleston for an autopsy.

Jackson declined to comment on whether Reinhardt is considered a suspect in the case. Reinhardt is being held at the Northern Regional Jail, pending his preliminary hearing in Brooke County Magistrate Court.

He said Reinhardt was found to have committed a probation violation and refused to come out of a home on Holbert’s Run Road in New Cumberland Wednesday, and members of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Response Team were deployed to remove and arrest him.

Hancock County Sheriff Ralph Fletcher said, “In order to safely accomplish the arrest of the suspect, who refused to exit the residence, it was necessary for the SRT to deploy chemical extraction agents as well as pyrotechnics.”

Fletcher said the Chester Volunteer Fire Department was placed on standby because of the use of pyrotechnics, and the West Virginia State Police also were involved.

“No further information on the Thomas investigation will be released at this time. The Brooke County Sheriff’s Office asks that anyone believing they may have information on Thomas’ death to please contact the sheriff’s office at (304) 737-3660,” Jackson said.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com)