The Shawnee County Sheriff's deputies involved in a tasering incident at Topeka's Goodyear plant are now on administrative leave.
Shawnee County Sheriff Dick Barta said Wednesday that the action is in keeping with department policy, while the Kansas Bureau of Investigation looks into what happened. Barta says he requested the KBI's involvement.
Security guards called deputies to Goodyear March 29th because they felt 59-year-old Walter Haake, Jr. couldn't safely drive home. Deputies say he resisted their efforts to get him medical attention and they tased him three times.
A coroner's report released Tuesday said Haake's death was accidental - a combination of heart disease and diabetes, and pressure to his torso while being held face down as deputies handcuffed him.
The KBI's report will be forwarded to the Shawnee County District Attorney's office for review.
Full release from Shawnee Co. Sheriff Dick Barta:
The Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office has received several inquiries regarding the Shawnee County Coroners report released April 8, 2008, about the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Haake.
It has always been my practice to be forthcoming with information involving the Sheriff’s Office. However in this case I have requested the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to conduct a death investigation. All reports will then be forwarded to the Shawnee County District Attorney for his review.
The officers involved have been placed on administration leave as per our agency policy.
Consequently to protect the integrity of this investigation, it would be inappropriate for this agency to release further information regarding this case.