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Robbery suspect found dead

Published: Tue, May 17, 2011 @ 12:07 a.m.


Joshua A. Thomas

By Ed Runyan



The man found hanging from a sheet in his cell at the Trumbull County jail Friday was Joshua A. Thomas, 29, of addresses in Niles and Warren.

He was the same man who led police on a car chase from Austintown into Lordstown on Wednesday.

Thomas was pronounced dead at St. Joseph Health Center on Friday afternoon.

Corrections officers found Thomas hanging about 3:55 p.m., pulled him down from the ceiling, removed the sheet from his neck and attempted to resuscitate him with CPR and a defibrillator.

Ambulance workers arrived at 4:09 p.m. and also attempted to resuscitate him but were unsuccessful.

Thomas was booked into the jail Wednesday evening after he was arrested by Lordstown police on a host of charges related to the chase.

Based on a screening interview when he was booked, Thomas was not deemed to be at risk of suicide, said Don Guarino, chief deputy at the jail.

A form filled out during his screening indicated that Thomas answered no to all questions related to his mental health. For example, he answered no when asked whether he had ever contemplated suicide or whether he was contemplating suicide now.

Thomas was not being kept on suicide watch and had been checked 50 minutes prior to being found in the cell, Guarino said.

Deputy Sam Oliver of the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office was pulling his car into the Home Depot on Mahoning Avenue in Austintown Wednesday when he saw Thomas sprinting from the store carrying two DeWalt power-tool boxes and being chased by two store employees, Oliver said.

Oliver, who was off duty, attempted to stop Thomas as Thomas got into his car and attempted to drive off, but Thomas changed directions and drove away. Thomas had addresses on Woodglen Avenue in Niles and Grant Street in Warren.

The pursuit entered Jackson Township and ended in Lordstown, where Oliver and two Lordstown patrolmen boxed Thomas in and arrested him.

Thomas faced a theft charge in Austintown plus two felonies and eight traffic violations in Lordstown. He was arraigned Thursday morning in Newton Falls Municipal Court.

Trumbull County Coroner Dr. Humphrey Germaniuk has performed an autopsy on Thomas, but results of the autopsy were not available Monday.


1Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Another one bites the dust.

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2Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Life had bottomed out and Joshua A. Thomas couldn't cope anymore . He has only caused his family more pain . . ..

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3drpautot(70 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. as someone who has tried it, i find its easier to face the music. maybe he should have asked for help like i did, and he may have not died. treatment in lieu of conviction is a good thing, and Ohio has a mental health court now

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4MLC75(654 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

This is sad,that a young man felt so hopeless that he took his own life.

Those of you who think its great that he killed himself are sick.He was a thief nothing more,death was not justified in this case.I fell bad for his family and friends.

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5missa1284(4 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

wow, I can't believe people could be heartless enough to say such awful things about someone. I have known Josh for years, and those that really knew him knew that he had a big heart. He was an unfortunate victim of a growing drug epidemic and was not lucky enough to find his way out. He was a human, just like the rest of us, with family and friends, so try being a little sensitive to those grieving over him. you wouldn't appreciate people making rude comments about someone you knew, despite the life they led. And please tell me who made you better than anyone else?

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6AnotherAverageCitizen(1182 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Very sad that anyone takes their own life.

It is also very sad that some people on here are so heartless. All some care is about themselves. If you care more about saving money on court cost than caring about a life, SHAME ON YOU.

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7woolyd(579 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Missa you are misinformed some of the bloggers here are God Almighty himself and perfect and have never made a mistake in their life. Only some of us are humans and understand people make mistakes and have problems. They are better than us though however with their judgemental ways it will be interesting to see how they are judged when the day comes that they are in front of God Almighty instead of playing the role

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8Bigben(1996 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Anyone getting a kick out of a young man hanging himself for stealing power tools is twisted and in need of redemption.

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9autumnv(1 comment)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I can not believe you people! This was the man I loved... UNCONDITIONALLY!!!! His family and myself and all the people that really KNEW Josh are dealing with a HUGE loss, and people are heartless enough to comment "GOOD"??? What if that was your husband or your son??? Despite the things he has done wrong, he was a loving man to me and my son. Not only has he lost his life... it left a void in my life, and the lives of all who loved him. You people should be ashamed of yourself. It makes me question the quality of life you must have to lack empathy, sympathy, and care for others.

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