Maybe Someday You’ll Read a Story Like This Coming From England
But not soon, I’d say. Via Zendo Deb of TFS Magnum comes this heartwarming story of how a man’s grandsons decided to defend their grandfather after his home had been burglarized twice before – the first time while he was at home:
BY KATHIE O. WARCO, Staff writer
Brian Reihner discounts any notion that he and his brother, Bob, are heroes. But North Franklin Township police Chief Mark Kavakich credits them for possibly saving their grandfather’s life during a home invasion early Thursday.
Steven A. Wallace, 19, of 930 W. Chestnut St., Washington, was arrested shortly after he allegedly forced his way into the Sylvan Drive home of Daniel Denman, only to be confronted by the Reihners. Police said he broke into the house about 2:30 a.m. by forcing in plywood covering a door damaged in a previous break-in.
The brothers decided to stay with their grandfather after two break-ins in the previous four days. During the first home invasion late Saturday or early Sunday, Denman was confronted by three black men who then stole cash and a compact disc player.
His house was burglarized Tuesday when he was not home. Stolen in that break-in were rolls of state quarters.
“We were just catnapping,” Brian Reihner said, recalling the events of early Thursday. “I could hear him come in. I just waited until he came around the corner. Then my brother turned on the light.”
The brothers were armed with rifles. Wallace pulled out a .38-cal. handgun that police later learned had been stolen in Pittsburgh.
“He grabbed my brother’s rifle and pulled him down,” Reihner said. “I stepped back but kept my rifle on him. I told him to just leave.”
Wallace left, telling the brothers that they did not know him. He was caught a short time later by Washington police after security officers at Washington Crown Center saw him running across the parking lot. He had the gun in his pocket.
“Something had to be done,” Reihner said. “I was afraid he’d do bodily harm to my grandfather. He was there for the money and would have done whatever it takes to get it.”
Wallace was arraigned before District Justice J. Albert Spence on charges of burglary, aggravated assault, receiving stolen property, reckless endangerment, criminal trespass, defiant trespass, carrying unlicensed firearms and possessing instruments of a crime. He was placed in Washington County Jail on $25,000 bond.
Wallace also faces charges in connection with Tuesday’s burglary after police found rolls of coins reportedly stolen from Denman’s home. Kavakich said the coins were found in Wallace’s backpack. Denman told police he kept the state coins in quarter rolls.
In the break-ins on Tuesday and Thursday, Kavakich believes another man was with Wallace. Two sets of footprints were found outside the house Tuesday. Kavakich believes a second person was scared off Thursday morning by the commotion inside the house.
Police are looking for a “person of interest” from the Chartiers-Houston area based on items found in Wallace’s backpack. Kavakich said Washington police also are talking with Wallace about a robbery last Friday.
“I’m not a hero,” Reihner said. “I did what anyone would have done.”
Kavakich said the Reihners’ actions were commendable.
“This is how kids should take care of their grandparents,” Kavakich said. “They stepped up and may have saved their grandfather’s life.”
Finally! A police chief who doesn’t tell people that they “took the law into their own hands” and chastises them for doing the right thing! I wonder how old the Reihner brothers are?
The only thing I’d change in that story? When Wallace pulled the .38 he should have been ventilated. But they were the men on the ground at the time, and I won’t second-guess them. Kudos for their actions.