The Ohio man who committed suicide while being arrested Saturday in Olathe was a registered sex offender for whom a fresh warrant had recently been issued, the Daily Press has learned.
John E. Reynolds, 25, of Akron, stabbed himself in the chest after fleeing from two Olathe Police Department officers who had stopped him for speeding at mile marker 81 on U.S. 50 early Saturday.
Reynolds' vehicle had been the subject of an earlier "Report Every Drunk Driver Immediately" phone call, Olathe Police Chief Justin Harlan said.
Reynolds reportedly fled his vehicle and ran into a field about 100 yards off the road. As the officers pursued, he brandished an "edged weapon" at them. One of the officers then deployed a Taser.
Reynolds at some point stabbed himself twice in the chest with the implement. He was placed in handcuffs for safety reasons and taken for medical care, but was pronounced dead at Montrose Memorial Hospital.
The cause of death was internal bleeding, Montrose County Coroner Dr. Thomas Canfield said. The manner of death is suicide.
"He had no lethal injuries other than the stab wound," Canfield said.
Reynolds bore marks from the Taser, a superficial bruise on his nose and peri-mortem bruising from handcuffs; none of these was life-threatening, Canfield said.
Evidence indicated that Reynolds might have been drinking alcohol, but results of a toxicology screen are weeks away.
Reynolds was wanted in Akron, Ohio, on a warrant alleging unlawful sexual contact with a minor, Akron Police Detective Rex Lott said. Reynolds also had a prior conviction for a similar offense, the detective said.
Reynolds walked out of a police interview before he could be charged, and a warrant was obtained for him last week, Lott said. The Akron Police alerted the U.S. Marshal's Office for help with tracking down Reynolds.
The two Olathe officers who stopped Reynolds were a six-year veteran of the force and a new recruit who had been on the job a month, Harlan said. The junior officer was engaged in field training.
In keeping with standard policy, both were placed on administrative leave.
The 7th Judicial District Critical Incident Team is investigating Reynolds' death. The team is composed of several law enforcement agencies within the 7th Judicial District and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The team investigates such incidents as deaths during arrests.
Harlan said that because of the investigation, he is limited in what he can say about Reynolds' death.
See Tuesday's Daily Press for the full story.