Media Scene

WSOC meteorologist arrested, accused of assault by wife

John Ahrens, a WSOC (Channel 9) meteorologist for nine years, is due in court Monday on a domestic assault charge brought by his estranged wife.

Ahrens, 38, was arrested Saturday after his wife, Sobrina Driver, accused him of throwing rocks at her during a confrontation.

Ahrens spent the weekend in the Mecklenburg County Jail and is scheduled for a first court appearance Monday morning on a misdemeanor charge of assault on a female.

WSOC news director Julie Szulczewski said Sunday that station management does not comment on personnel matters, but pointed to Channel 9’s report on the arrest noting that Ahrens denied the allegations.

Driver said Sunday she did not want to comment on Saturday’s confrontation.

Ahrens and Driver were married in September 2013 and separated last June. They have been in a contentious divorce and a custody dispute over their 15-month-old daughter. A guardian ad litem, who represents the best interests of the child in court proceedings, was appointed in the case.

Each has accused the other of having psychological issues, according to documents on file in Mecklenburg County Civil Court. Ahrens filed a suit against Driver in July, alleging defamation and slander.

According to Charlotte Mecklenburg police records, authorities were summoned to the couple’s Ballantyne apartment at midday on June 5. Ahrens shot himself in the hand during what police described as a suicide attempt following a disagreement with Driver. Police said the wound was not life-threatening.

In a safety assessment with a Department of Social Services social worker four days later, Driver said Ahrens was under the influence of alcohol and prescription medication at the time of the incident, according to court records. Driver said she was in another room with the child when the shooting occurred, the records show.

In his July suit, Ahrens said Driver hacked into his personal email, and on June 26 and 27 “sent emails to his family confessing illegal, immoral acts.” It also alleged that Driver contacted Ahrens’ colleagues and supervisor with accusations.

Ahrens’ suit said that Driver arranged for his supervisor at WSOC to be contacted by someone claiming to be from CMPD accusing him of criminal and immoral actions. “When his supervisor called back, she discovered an imposter had called her,” the suit said.

Mark Washburn: 704-358-5007, @WashburnChObs

Related stories from Charlotte Observer