ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A 75-year-old man has died after a sheriff’s deputy in rural Minnesota shocked him with a Taser during an attempted eviction, officials announced Wednesday.
The cause of Michael James Yanacheak’s death in Willmar is undetermined pending further investigation by the medical examiner, the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a statement.
The BCA, which is investigating the incident, said Riley Kampsen is the Kandiyohi County sheriff’s deputy who deployed his Taser. Kampsen has five years of law enforcement experience.
According to the BCA statement, two Kandiyohi County sheriff’s deputies and two Willmar police officers went to Yanacheak’s apartment Monday morning to perform a court-ordered eviction. They tried to get him to open the door, but he didn’t respond. After about an hour, the apartment manager pried open the door, and the officers went inside.
“They found Yanacheak in a bedroom, where he picked up a kitchen knife and walked towards them,” the statement said. “The law enforcement officers tried to retreat out of the apartment, but at one point, Kampsen deployed his Taser, striking Yanacheak.”
The officers provided medical care at the scene until Yanacheak could be taken to the hospital, where he later died. “At no time did anyone involved in this incident discharge a firearm,” the statement said.
A Willmar police officer recovered a knife at the scene, which was later turned over to the BCA. Kampsen and the two Willmar police officers were all wearing body cameras. The BCA is reviewing all available video as part of the investigation.
The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office asked the BCA to investigate. Once the investigation is complete, the BCA will present its findings without a charging recommendation to the Kandiyohi County Attorney’s Office for review.