The suspected drunk wrong way driver on I-75 that killed four people and himself over the weekend, threatened to kill himself before, according to Dayton police records.
James Pohlabeln, a 61-year-old Dayton resident, called his wife, Marcy Pohlabeln threatening suicide and “suicide by cop” in November after his brother died, the report shows.
“Marcy said James drinks a lot,” wrote Officer Harry Dilley in an incident report, “… James said he wanted the police to kill him. Marcy showed officer Brienza and I the text messages on her phone.”
Pohlabeln sent the threatening text messages three months before drove the wrong way on I-75, where struck a sports utility vehicle killing four young friends: Kyle Canter, 23, of New Carlisle; Earl Miller II, 27, of New Carlisle; Vashti Nicole Brown, 29, of Dayton; and Devin Bachmann, 26, of Huber Heights.
>> EARLIER: Friends say victims deserved better
We are working to bring you more information on the victims and the driver.
Staff writer Mark Gokavi contributed to this report.
>> WHO IS JAMES POHLABELN?
Pohlabeln was retired and lived on his investment income and savings from his retirement account, according to records related to his divorce case. He lived at a Dayton home he has owned since the 1970s and bought from his parents, the records show.
Pohlabeln had been living in hotels and motels for a stint but moved back into his home in December.
About 48 hours before Saturday’s fatal crash, Pohlabeln was arrested after crashing into two parked cars.
At about 2:20 a.m. Thursday, Pohlabeln was driving eastbound on East Fourth Street near Bell Street in a 1997 Chevy Silverado when he “apparently lost control and collided” with a parked car, a crash report says. The crash pushed the car he struck into another parked car, the report said.
The report gives the offense charged as “operating a motor vehicle without reasonable control.” Pohlabeln was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and failure to control.
He pleaded not guilty in municipal court and a judge released him on his own recognizance, according to court records. He got out of jail about 7 p.m. Thursday.
Members of the Pohlabeln family declined to comment but expressed condolences to the families of the four crash victims.