September 19, 2014

Medina
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Defendant, 22, to await trial at mental health facility

MEDINA — A man police say barricaded himself in his home and threatened to kill himself two weeks after he was released from prison will be admitted to a mental health facility while he awaits trial.

Luke Pfeiler, 22, of the 3300 block of Valley Forge Drive in Brunswick, is charged with resisting arrest, inducing panic and domestic violence. Police say Pfeiler locked himself in his bedroom March 21 with a large knife and threatened to kill himself with prescription pills.

Luke Pfeiler

Luke Pfeiler

If convicted, Pfeiler could face 1½ years or more in prison.

Medina County Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler on Thursday approved a bond amendment for Pfeiler that will allow him to await trial at the Akron General Hospital Psych Facility. Pfeiler likely will be transported next week, Kimbler said.

Pfeiler’s attorney, Ronald Spears, requested the move earlier this month.

“As grounds, counsel states the defendant has a growing history of mental health issues and is in need of mental health assessment and treatment,” Spears wrote. “The facts underlying this case suggest mental health issues. Further, he has a history of chronic depression and paranoia that leads to thoughts and acts of suicide.”

Pfeiler’s family will pay for the mental health treatment, Spears said.

March 21 wasn’t the first time Pfeiler threatened to kill himself involving police. Last year, he pleaded guilty to leading Montville Township police on a May 23 car chase that ended when he crashed his car into another vehicle.

According to reports, he told his then-girlfriend he intended to commit “suicide by cop.”

He also was convicted of expelling a “bodily substance” at an officer at the county jail while awaiting trial.

For those convictions, Pfeiler was sentenced to nine months in prison — but was credit with 7½ months of jail time. He was released from the Lorain Correctional Institution on March 12.

At the March 21 standoff, police were called to Pfeiler’s residence in response to a call about domestic violence. They broke down Pfeiler’s bedroom door and struck him with nonlethal “beanbag” bullets and a stun gun, which gave him a seizure.

He spent about a week at Southwest General Hospital and Laurel Hospital mental health facility before police arrested him.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com. Follow him on Twitter @ngfalcon.