WENATCHEE — A man who took control of a Douglas County sheriff’s patrol car and dragged a deputy about two blocks in Waterville died early Tuesday morning while being detained.
Jason M. Nalls, 40, was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death with help from Douglas County and Wenatchee detectives.
Chelan County Undersheriff John Wisemore gave this account of what happened:
Douglas County sheriff’s deputies were called to a domestic disturbance at Nalls’ residence on East Birch Street about 11 a.m. Monday. Deputies determined that there had been a verbal dispute, and they left a short time later. Wisemore did not know who Nalls was arguing with in the home.
Deputies were called back to the residence around 10 p.m. Monday night after Nalls reported someone shooting at his house.
Deputies could not confirm that any shots were fired. While they were at his residence, Nalls locked himself in the bathroom of his home.
Deputies were able to get Nalls out of the bathroom, but Wisemore did not know whether they talked him out or broke the door in. Afterward, Nalls asked to be taken to Central Washington Hospital for mental health reasons.
Nalls then ran out of his house and deputies could not find him.
Around 1 a.m., Nalls was found by a deputy about two blocks from his home. When the deputy got out of his car, Nalls got into the driver’s seat of the patrol car and began driving away, dragging the deputy about two blocks. The patrol car went into Pioneer Park, struck an embankment and stopped.
The deputy then tried to deploy a taser. The taser hit Nalls, but Wisemore said investigators have not determined whether it made enough contact to affect Nalls.
A second deputy arrived at the scene about that time, and the two deputies struggled with Nalls before they were able to get him in handcuffs.
About a minute after the handcuffs were placed on him, the deputies noticed that Nalls had become unresponsive and stopped breathing. They started CPR, and emergency crews arrived and took over life-saving efforts.
An autopsy will be performed, Wisemore said.
The deputy, who is not being identified yet, was treated at Central Washington Hospital and later released. Douglas County Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal said he did not yet know what injuries the deputy sustained.