PORTLAND – Dave Dahl, the co-founder of Dave’s Killer Bread, made his first appearance in court Friday after he was accused of smashing head-on into three deputy’s cruisers late Thursday.
Dahl's defense attorney, Stephen Houze, called the incident "clearly a mental health crisis" as Dahl stood silently in his standard jail uniform during the hearing.
Dahl, 50, is the face of Dave’s Killer Bread and has lived a complicated life that includes a 15-year stint in prison for drug possession, burglary, assault and armed robbery.
Dahl’s transformation from convict to lucrative businessman has been as much a part of his company’s success story as the allure of his hearty organic bread, which was first introduced at the Portland Farmer's Market in 2005.
On Thursday night around 10 p.m., Dahl allegedly struck three patrol cars head-on with his Cadillac Escalade after deputies responded to a 911 call in the 2400 block of Southwest Timberline Drive.
Court papers show police were originally called to the home because Dahl was having a mental breakdown.
Earlier Thursday, police were called to the Dave’s Killer Bread bakery in Milwaukie after Dahl reportedly entered the business, verbally intimidated employees and punched a life-sized cutout display of himself, according to Ulli Neitch with Milwaukie police.
Dahl sped off in his Escalade after police spotted him across from the bakery. Police said they did not feel any crimes were committed.
Ten hours later, Dahl was arrested after deputies shocked him with a Taser during the violent alleged vehicular attack on Washington County Sheriff’s Deputies. He was charged with second-degree assault, assaulting a police officer, attempting to elude a police officer, resisting arrest, criminal mischief and reckless driving. His bail was set at $290,000.
Thursday’s events come as a troubling episode in the bread company’s otherwise meteoric rise to success.
Dave’s Killer Bread was so successful that New York equity firm Goode Partners purchased a 50 percent stake in the company last December to help expand the company and meet voracious demand in regions beyond the company’s 11-state distribution area.
Dave Dahl got to keep his title as company president and continued as head of product development. He insisted that the new expansion will not affect the taste or quality of his killer bread.
Dahl founded the company in 2005 with his brother Glenn and Glenn’s son Shobi Dahl. Analysts expected the company would have around $50 million in sales in 2013 alone.
On Friday morning, CEO John Tucker put out an official statement for the company.
“The Company and Dave's business partners are really concerned about Dave and hope that he's getting the help that he needs. And, we hope that anyone else who may have been involved is okay. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved. As this is a personal matter, please contact Dave's legal counsel, Steven Houze, for further information,” the statement reads.
Dahl is due back in court on Nov. 22. He will remain in jail with no indication that he will post bond before his next court date.
KGW reporter Kyle Iboshi contributed to this report