PARKERSBURG - A New Martinsville man wanted by authorities for an assault in Cabell County was arrested and arraigned in Wood County Friday morning.
Edward Jesse Dreyfuse, 45, of New Martinsville was arraigned in Wood County Magistrate Court on charges of malicious wounding, assault during a felony, burglary and brandishing a weapon in an incident Monday that left a handicapped Huntington man in a coma.
Dreyfuse was the source of a manhunt in Wood County Thursday night. He was discovered along the Interstate 77 northbound ramp at U.S. 50 attempting to hitchhike.
Photo by Jody Murphy
Edward J. Dreyfuse of New Martinsville was arraigned Friday in Wood County Magistrate Court on charges of beating a handicapped man in Huntington.
Sheriff's Sgt. Jason Allen said authorities received a tip a man believed to be Dreyfuse was along the road. As officers were en route, a second caller alerted officials about Dreyfuse, Allen said.
Allen said he drove into the area and saw Dreyfuse standing along the road.
"He was taken into custody without incident," Allen said.
Edward J. Dreyfuse was apprehended by the Wood County Sheriff's Department Friday morning when he was spotted at U.S. 50 and Interstate 77 on the northbound ramp.
Magistrate Robin Waters set bond at $405,000.
Dreyfuse was taken to the North Central Regional Jail and will be transferred to the Western Regional Jail in Barboursville.
Dreyfuse's arraignment didn't go as smoothly. He was upset at the presence of media at his arraignment attempting to take his picture.
"You better back your cameras up or there is going to be another charge," he said.
"My courtroom. My rules," Magistrate Robin Waters said.
"Get this dog-and-pony show out of here," Dreyfuse said.
Dreyfuse asked Waters if he was being extradited to Huntington. Waters said no as she went over the charges.
"These are serious," Dreyfuse said. "A few are made up."
"I know what I did," he said later.
Dreyfuse said he wanted an attorney and attempted to discuss the charges and facts surrounding the incidents with Waters. The magistrate instructed him it was not the forum.
"I thought we were here to talk about my case," he said.
"To go over your charges," Waters said.
Waters set Dreyfuse's bond at $405,000. He was remanded to the sheriff's custody and taken to the North Central Regional Jail. Allen said Dreyfuse would be shipped to the Western Regional Jail in Barboursville.
According to the criminal complaint, Dreyfuse is charged with kicking in the door to Otis Clay Jr.'s home and assaulting him with a black aluminum baseball bat. The complaint alleges Dreyfuse struck Clay numerous times in the head, face, arms and legs.
As a result of the beating, Clay suffered a broken leg, broken arm, broken fingers, four broken ribs and sustained a severe head injury that resulted in a coma, according to the complaint. Authorities said Clay is handicapped.
According to reports, Clay was removed from life support Thursday evening at St. Mary's Medical Center in Huntington. He was listed in critical condition Friday.
Huntington police Cpl. Rob Stinnett told the Huntington Herald-Dispatch the victim is in a coma with minimal brain activity. Stinnett said the malicious wounding charge would be upgraded to murder should Clay die from his injuries.
On Thursday evening, local law enforcement officers and U.S. marshals blocked off a section of Depot Street in Parkersburg as they searched for Dreyfuse. During their search a man ran from a house and into the woods.
Officers searched several hours and called for a State Police helicopter from Charleston.
Authorities located Dreyfuse after daylight along the highway.