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Suspect in Rural King incident held on $200K bond

Michael Roe

PARKERSBURG — A man who allegedly made bomb threats and brandished a hatchet in a Parkersburg store Wednesday has been charged with a felony and was being held on a $200,000 bond.

Michael Roe, 35, homeless, was arraigned Thursday on one count of terroristic threats and was being held at the North Central Regional Jail in Doddridge County.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Wood County Magistrate Court, Roe entered Rural King in the Park Shopping Center on Wednesday, wielding a machete-like weapon and passed a hand-written letter to an employee. The letter claimed he had set up timed pipe bombs in the store and near homes in Parkersburg and Vienna and the devices would be detonated if his requests were not fulfilled.

Parkersburg Police officers and Wood County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the store around noon and when they entered, the suspect was wielding a hatchet, the complaint said. He did not comply with commands to drop the hatchet, so officers used bean bag rounds and eventually a Taser, after which he surrendered, Police Chief Scott Elliott said Wednesday.

Roe was taken to WVU Medicine Camden Clark for medical clearance and released from there Wednesday night, Elliott said. During a Mirandized interview with police, Roe admitted he planned and carried out the bomb threat “with the intention to instill fear in employees and customers so his story could be heard,” the complaint said.

Elliott said Roe did not elaborate on his motivation during the interview.

Roe is from Kentucky and had been staying at a residential substance abuse treatment facility in Parkersburg, Elliott said. He walked out of the facility Wednesday, before the incident at Rural King, the chief said.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

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