Two Moundsville Brothers Accused of Holding Woman at Knifepoint

A Moundsville man is charged with kidnapping after police said he and his brother took a female against her will to a house, where one of them held her at knifepoint.

At about 6:15 p.m. Monday, one of the alleged victim’s parents called Moundsville police to report the incident, saying the female had been able to get to safety at a friend’s house.

When police made contact with the alleged victim, she told them she was home alone when her ex-boyfriend, Thomas Blake Jr., 33, broke in through the back door and held a knife to her throat while threatening her life, apparently about money.

The female described Blake grabbing her by the hair and dragging her outside to a car, driven by Bryan Blake, 18, who allegedly drove them back to a residence.

According to a criminal complaint, Thomas Blake then left, allegedly instructing his younger brother to beat the woman if she resisted.

The woman told police when Bryan Blake went to the kitchen, she ran out the front door toward her friend’s home, which was nearby, according to the complaint.

The younger Blake reportedly caught up to the woman and attempted to drag her by the hair, but fled when he saw the alleged victim’s friend look out the door.

Police went to the Blakes’ Pearl Street residence and arrested both. Officers reportedly found Thomas Blake with a pocketknife bearing a distinctive pattern that the alleged victim described.

Both Thomas and Bryan Blake are charged with battery, while Thomas Blake faces additional charges of nighttime burglary, kidnapping and destruction of property.

They were arraigned in Marshall County Magistrate Court Tuesday afternoon.

Moundsville Police Chief Thomas Mitchell said while the alleged kidnapping was isolated and those involved knew each other, there are steps residents can take to prepare in the event they need to defend themselves in their home.

“Always make yourself a hard target. Have a plan in place, and in some cases you may want to even arm yourself,” Mitchell said. “I’ve got a motion detector downstairs, alarms on my doors, I’ve got a dog, and I’ve got guns in my bedroom.”

Mitchell added there are other methods of protection other than guns people can use.

“You could have pepper spray to protect yourself. … If someone significant in your life is violent, and you’re afraid they might do something to you, step it up,” Mitchell said.

Officer Rich Milbert advised that locals should call the county 911 center’s non-emergency number, 304-845-1920, and register their cellphone numbers with their address.

Milbert said with increasingly few people maintaining landlines, extra time spent obtaining a location through the phone’s signal can be critical.

“We have no idea where their cellphone’s at if they hang up,” Milbert said.

Milbert also advised that video surveillance footage can make investigations easier.