County attorney: No criminal charges in death of man tased by deputies

LYNDON, Kan. – The Osage County Attorney has determined there was no criminal wrongdoing in the death of a Topeka man who died after being tased three times and pepper sprayed by Osage County sheriff’s deputies on Oct. 20, 2015. In a report on the death of Kenneth Schick, 47, Osage County Attorney Brandon Jones said the autopsy determined the cause of Schick’s death was cardiac arrhythmia during a physical struggle, with the manner of death listed as undetermined.

In a press release issued after the incident in October, Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn reported Osage County 911 received a call from Shawnee County 911 about a possible domestic disturbance at 11651 S. Jordan Road in Osage County at 1:20 a.m. Oct. 20. Osage County sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene at 1:35 a.m. and found an ongoing domestic disturbance with a hostage situation. Osage County deputies deployed tasers and OC spray (oleoresin capsicum spray) to attempt to gain control of the suspect, later identified as Schick. Schick was transported by Osage County EMS to a Topeka hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Jones’ report describes a chaotic scene in the rural Wakarusa home, where deputies were called in response to a 911 call made by an elderly resident of the home and Schick’s family member. Schick reportedly had been acting erratic for a few days, which prompted family members to invite him to stay with them. At the time the 911 call was made, Schick had reportedly battered the family members, which was also observed by the first deputy on the scene.

According to the report, as each deputy arrived at the house and engaged in confrontation with Schick, he remained combative and unfazed after being tased three times and sprayed with pepper spray. Deputies finally wrestled Schick to the floor and handcuffed him as he continued to struggle.

Jones’ report indicated that two deputies tried to restrain Schick after he was handcuffed, but one deputy was overcome by effects of the pepper spray. As the third deputy tried to keep Schick from kicking, “without warning, Mr. Shick stopped moving and talking,” the report said. “He was rolled over and no signs of life were discovered and CPR was started. The deputy described the sudden change in Mr. Shick’s condition as being as sudden as the switching of a light switch.”

The deputies and witnesses reported that each time Schick was tased, he seemed to suffer no effects, pulled the electrodes out of his skin, and once told deputies they “were doing it wrong,” and while the pepper spray was so strong it almost incapacitated one deputy, it had little effect on Schick.

One deputy reported “in his entire career, he had never dealt with someone with this kind of strength,” Jones report said. Witnesses said Schick continued to say unusual things and act strangely during the incident.

Coworkers and other witnesses said Schick had been acting strangely for several days, with one saying Schick had indicated recent use of “hardcore drugs”. Jones said toxicologic analysis detected that Schick had recent exposure to marijuana.

Jones said that evidence uncovered during the months-long investigation “found no credible evidence that the deputies’ use of force was unreasonable under the circumstances they encountered.”

Jones noted the investigation established that Schick had battered two family members and two deputies, and placed them in a dangerous, potentially life-threatening situation, refused to comply with the lawful orders from law enforcement officers, and advanced towards the deputies in a threatening manner, placing them in fear of bodily harm to themselves and to the family members present.

“The three Osage County Sheriff’s Deputies used reasonable force to effect an arrest and to defend themselves, and the two family members, from bodily harm while making the arrest,” Jones said in the report. “Under Kansas law and the facts of this case, I conclude that no criminal charges will be filed against any of the three deputies involved in this case.”

See Jones’ full report on the incident here.


Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas