Lebanon bomb threat suspect dies after Montgomery County traffic crash

ajc.com

A Warren County man who allegedly phoned in a bomb threat to the Lebanon City Building on March 2 was killed a few days later in a traffic crash in the Dayton area.

William James Thomas, 38, of Waynesville, was in a traffic crash about 5:28 a.m. March 5 at the intersection of Wagner Ford and Needmore roads north of Dayton, said Maj. Jeremy Roy of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. Thomas was in a 2010 Dodge Caravan that was stolen earlier that evening from Busy Bee Towing.

ExploreLebanon police chief IDs suspect in bomb threat that caused city building evacuation

Roy said the van that Thomas was in had T-boned a vehicle in the intersection, injuring the two people in that vehicle. Roy said no other details about the crash were available as the investigation was ongoing. Thomas suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to Grandview Medical Center.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said Thomas died Tuesday at Hospice of Dayton. The death was ruled accidental, and the cause of death was from blunt force trauma.

Before the crash, a sheriff’s deputy spotted Thomas’ vehicle and attempted a traffic stop, but the vehicle fled from the deputy at a high rate of speed. Roy said the deputy did not pursue the vehicle because stolen vehicles don’t meet the standard for a high-speed pursuit according to their policies.

The deputy later came up to crash, which was being investigated by a MCSO crash reconstructionist.

ExploreLebanon City Building evacuated for bomb threat

An arrest warrant was issued March 12 and a charge of making a terroristic threat, a third-degree felony, was filed in Lebanon Municipal Court against Thomas. Police Chief Jeff Mitchell said they were not aware of Thomas’ death until after they released information about the warrant for him. Mitchell said the charges will be withdrawn and the warrant recalled.

“The whole thing is rather bizarre,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said Lebanon police officers are confident that Thomas phoned in the bomb threat from Waynesville as he was with another person when he did it. Police said the other person will not be charged in the matter.

Mitchell said Thomas was already the subject of a stolen vehicle investigation by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, which had been watching his residence. In an attempt to lure deputies away from his residence, Thomas allegedly called in the bomb threat to the Lebanon City Building that set off a chain of events that eventually resulted in his death, Mitchell said.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Thomas was under investigation as a suspect in several vehicle thefts

Lebanon police alleged: Thomas had another stolen car in his driveway when he called in the bomb threat, and he drove that vehicle to the Dayton area before stealing the van from the towing company.

In Other News