Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

3 Osage County Sheriff's Deputies Cleared in Case Where Man Died after Tasing

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

3 Osage County Sheriff's Deputies Cleared in Case Where Man Died after Tasing

Article excerpt

Three Osage County sheriff's deputies have been cleared of any wrongdoing after an investigation into an incident last year in Wakarusa in which a man died after being shocked with a Taser stun gun multiple times during a struggle with officers.

The announcement was made Wednesday morning by Osage County Attorney Brandon L. Jones, whose office reviewed the result of an investigation conducted by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Osage County Sheriff's Office.

The report focused on use of force by three Osage County deputies during an incident that occurred about 1:30 a.m. Oct. 20 at 11651 S. Jordan Road in Wakarusa, just south of the Osage-Shawnee County line.

According to the findings released by Jones, an open-line 911 call that initially came to Shawnee County dispatchers was redirected to the Osage County Sheriff's Office regarding an ongoing domestic disturbance at the address. In an open-line call, dispatchers can hear background voices and noise but can't make direct contact with a caller.

Responding deputies found Kenneth Schick, 47, was being combative toward two elderly family members -- a man and woman -- and subsequently toward the officers.

The report indicated Schick was shocked with a Taser multiple times by deputies, but wasn't affected by the electrical charges. Use of pepper spray also failed to subdue Schick.

The deputies ultimately converged on Schick, using physical force to stop him. The report stated it took two pairs of handcuffs to bring Schick under control, though he continued kicking at the deputies.

The report quoted deputies as saying Schick suddenly quit kicking and talking to them. When the officers rolled Schick over, they found he had stopped breathing. One of the deputies was quoted in the report as describing the change in Schick's condition as being as sudden as "the switching of a light switch."

Deputies performed CPR on Schick until ambulance crews, which already had been summoned, arrived at the scene. Schick was taken by ambulance to a Topeka hospital, where he later died.

Jones' report quoted several acquaintances and coworkers of Schick as saying he had demonstrated bizarre, erratic behavior in the days leading up to the disturbance. …

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