Update, 4:20 p.m. Wednesday: Investigators have released the name of the Douglas County sheriff’s deputy involved in Tuesday’s fatal arrest in Waterville. Deputy Hans Andersen, 46, has worked for the sheriff’s office for eight years as a full-time, commissioned officer.
Also, an autopsy of the victim, Jason Nalls, found no outward signs of trauma, investigators said. Blood samples have been send to a toxicology lab for further testing. Results will not be available for several weeks.
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 Police detectives.
The deputy, who authorities have not yet identified, was treated at Central Washington Hospital and released. Douglas County Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal said he did not yet know what injuries the deputy sustained.
Chelan County Undersheriff John Wisemore gave this account:
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.
Deputies were called back to the residence around 10 p.m. Monday 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 his bathroom.
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 shot Nalls with a Taser. Wisemore said investigators have not determined whether it made enough contact to affect Nalls.
A second deputy arrived about that time and the two deputies struggled with Nalls before they were able to get him in handcuffs.
An eyewitness, however, said the second deputy arrived shortly after Nalls was handcuffed. Wisemore said that’s possible and that the official version of events could change as the investigation continues.
Wisemore said 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 was done on Tuesday but the results won’t be released, Wisemore said, until toxicology results are obtained. He said that could take up to 11 weeks.