April 17, 2014

Partly cloudy

‘Suicide by cop’ driver facing more charges

MEDINA — A 22-year-old Brunswick man accused of leading police on a high-speed chase to commit “suicide by cop” has been charged with aggravated vehicular assault.

Luke Pfeiler, of 3327 Valley Forge Drive, already was awaiting trial on a charge of failing to obey a police officer, a third-degree felony punishable by up to three years in prison.

His new charge also is a third-degree felony — bumping the maximum possible sentence for the May 23 chase to six years.
Pfeiler pleaded not guilty to his charges in June but changed his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity in July. The case is on hold until a competency evaluation can be completed.

He’s scheduled for arraignment on his new charge Monday before Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier.
At his first arraignment hearing, Pfeiler appeared in court with a walker, an arm and a leg in casts and a foot in a brace — injuries he sustained in the crash.

Pfeiler was stopped May 23 by police on Montville Drive. But when the officer approach Pfeiler’s vehicle, he sped away.
The chase — caught almost entirely on the dashboard camera of the cruiser — reached speeds as high as 70 mph. After a few minutes, Pfeiler’s vehicle collided with a Montville service department truck driven by maintenance supervisor Dennis Clapper.

Pfeiler was removed from his vehicle using hydraulic cutters and was taken by helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, police reported.

Clapper was taken to Akron General Hospital in serious condition and has since been discharged. Pfeiler has been held at the county jail on $300,000 bond.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

  • Bob Kurka

    A person attempting to commit suicide needs help NOT jail. Pile it on Brunswick Police and push Mr. Pfeiler into making another suicide attempt. His next attempt might be successful.

  • michelle williams

    Are you the worlds biggest idiot? You bleeding heart liberals make me sick, what if he would of run into your family instead of a truck? GET A CLUE!

  • Bob

    Sounds like some facts are missing from this article too.

  • Bob Kurka

    I am far from a liberal. I am also a retired police officer with some experience with suicide. People do commit suicide in jails. I also have had to live with finding my son hanging in my garage a few years ago. Since that event I trook it upon myself to learn more about suicide and spent time with veterans who have attempted suicide. Did you know more than 18 veterans commit suicide every day. Are you aware of the numbers of teens who also make this choice. Maybe you should take some time to read about what is called an epidemic pertaining to suicide. You might be able to help prevent one by seeing the signs and getting the people help. I assure you there is someone in your family has thought about suicied as a way to solve their problems.

  • howdey dutie

    BOB, In My Opinion, GEORGE, GET’S THE REAL STORY WRONG. DRIVES MG’S.nSHOULD BE at the helm OF THE little boat…………………………………………..

  • Bob

    Not sure I understand Howdey Dutie.

  • Uncle Hank

    Hey Bobbo, Did you read the story to learn that this did not occur in Brunswick? or is there perhaps an agenda you are pursuing?

  • Uncle Hank

    Sorry for your loss

  • Bob

    They need to get all the facts!