TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Day 11 of Raymond Schwab's hunger strike against the Kansas Department of Children and Families ended in handcuffs and a trip to the hospital.
Capitol Police arrested Schwab around 1 p.m. Thursday, as he prepared to begin a round-the-clock campout on the north steps of the Statehouse. As Schwab set up a chair, a Capitol Police officer approached and informed Schwab there was a warrant for his arrest. Schwab said he was weak and the officer allowed him to sit for a few moments before then placing him in handcuffs, walking him down the stairs and ushering him into a law enforcement vehicle.
His wife, Amelia, says she was told her husband was taken to Stormont-Vail Hospital for medical attention after he was taken into custody. On Friday, she said her husband was cleared from the hospital, and is in good condition.
City of Topeka spokesperson Aly VanDyke said Municipal Court Records show Schwab was wanted on a warrant for failure to appear in court on Sept. 14, 2015 on charges of Criminal Trespass and Criminal Damage to Property. VanDyke said the charges stem from an incident May 26, 2015. Topeka Police told 13 NEWS the incident involved an acquaintance, who reported Schwab entered their home without permission, damaging a window screen in the process.
The warrant was unrelated to the DCF complaint.
Before his arrest, Schwab said he was stepping up his demonstration in light of DCF's public statements that he was not being truthful about his case.
"All I'm trying to do is peacefully petition this government for the release of my children, for a higher authority even to step in and look at this case," Schwab said. "My son is still in a psychiatric ward, my children are split up and they're not listening."
When he launched his hunger strike March 14, Schwab said DCF used unsubstantiated allegations to take his and his wife Amelia's five children out of the home. The couple also believes Schwab's use of marijuana for treatment of pain and post-traumatic stress disorder is a factor. Schwab is a Gulf War veteran and the couple lives in Colorado, where use of medical cannabis is legal.
DCF disputed Schwab's claims. An agency spokesperson issued a statement saying that, while they cannot discuss specifics of the case, Schwas was "providing the public with an incomplete and inaccurate account of the events that have transpired."
DCF also said the Schwabs could sign a release so their case documents could be released. They said Thursday that they signed the release for the documents to be released to a family friend, but DCF has refused to release them.
The Denver Post reported that as the family was packing to leave Kansas for Colorado in 2015, Amelia’s mother took their five children, ages five to 16, to the Riley County Police Department, reporting them as abandoned.
In an April 2015 child abuse investigation, results show that the allegations were dismissed as unsubstantiated.