Coroner rules Springetts bar death a homicide
TUESDAY, JAN. 12, 2016, UPDATE:
York County Coroner Pam Gay said a Tuesday-morning autopsy on the body of Thomas Reinoehl, performed at Allentown's Lehigh Valley Hospital, determined Reinoehl died of traumatic injuries to his head and neck, according to the coroner's office.
Gay has ruled Reinoehl's death a homicide, the coroner's office said.
A 61-year-old man died Sunday evening in York Hospital, a day after being shoved to the floor and hitting his head inside a Springettsbury Township bar, officials said.
An autopsy is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday on the body of Thomas Reinoehl of South Keesey Street in Springettsbury Township, according to the York County Coroner's Office. Rulings on the cause and manner of his death are pending the autopsy.
Springettsbury Township Police have arrested Rudolph M. Bandjough for the alleged assault. He remains in York County Prison on $20,000 bail, charged so far with aggravated assault and attempted simple assault.
It is not yet known whether Bandjough, 31, of York Township, will be charged with homicide, Springettsbury Township Police Lt. Tony Beam confirmed.
The investigation into the incident at Barracuda's Seafood Pub, 2254 Industrial Drive, remains under investigation, according to Beam. Once it's complete, findings will be turned over to the York County District Attorney's Office and a decision will be made whether additional charges are appropriate, he said.
Spoke to suspect's fiancee: Bandjough and Reinoehl were both at Barracuda's on Saturday night. While Bandjough was playing pool, Reinoehl spoke briefly with Bandjough's fiancee, according to charging documents.
That prompted Bandjough to walk over to his fiancee and ask her if she wanted to play pool, police said, but she declined and Bandjough went back to his billiards game. Shortly afterward, Reinoehl walked away from the woman and headed toward the front of the bar, police said.
Bandjough walked up from behind and forcefully pushed Reinoehl, charging documents state. That happened about 9:50 p.m., police said.
Reinoehl fell forward, hit his head on a cash machine and immediately fell unconscious, documents state.
When officers arrived at the bar, they found the victim lying near the bar entrance, with his head near the ATM machine, police said. Reinoehl was bleeding heavily from head lacerations and he was rushed to York Hospital, documents state.
Head, neck injuries; Doctors could find no sign of brain activity in Reinoehl and determined he suffered a spinal neck injury, according to documents.
Beam said investigators have not been able to confirm whether Reinoehl said anything to Bandjough immediately prior to being shoved.
It is believed Bandjough had some sort of issue with Reinoehl speaking with his fiancee, the lieutenant confirmed.
Lily Peachey, 48, of Spring Garden Township, was at the bar with her fiance, Brian Plath, when Reinoehl was injured.
She said Reinoehl, who other bar patrons called "Tug," came in and was saying hello to people.
"He said something to one of the younger girls there, but he didn't talk to her for more than a couple seconds," Peachey recalled. The woman to whom she is referring is Bandjough's fiancee.
"(Reinoehl) came back toward the door. I thought he was leaving ... but they think he was going to the ATM," she said, and that's when she saw Bandjough react.
'Came running': "This guy just came running from the other end of the bar," and shoved Reinoehl in the back with both hands, Peachey said.
"His head smashed into the ATM and that was it — he didn't move," she said. "He never even saw it coming. He had no chance to respond."
The bar became quiet at that point, and several people went to the victim's aid, according to Peachey.
"A couple guys rolled him over and there was a big pool of blood under his head," she said.
Shook his head: Bandjough walked back to the pool table and remained silent, according to Peachey, who said he didn't try to leave the bar. She said she saw him shaking his head, as if he was considering the gravity of what just happened.
Meanwhile, Bandjough's fiancee "just kept saying how sorry she was," Peachey recalled.
Peachey said she and her fiance sometimes go to Barracuda's after she finishes work.
"It's usually a middle-age crowd," she said. "We've never seen any problems there at all."
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.