Archive for Saturday, June 4, 2005

Deputy’s conduct under review

June 4, 2005


— Reports that a Sedgwick County deputy continued to write citations rather than respond to a drowning at Lake Afton on Memorial Day have prompted an investigation by Sheriff Gary Steed.

Joaquin Juarez, 21, died Monday after diving into the lake and hitting his head.

Wichita resident Jarrod Maddux said he and some friends were talking to a deputy about cars parked near the lake when they heard a dispatcher say a drowning had been reported.

"He proceeded to sit there for another 20 minutes, just so he could write us these tickets for having these cars on the grass," Maddux said. "We were like, 'Don't you need to go take care of that, instead of this?' He was like, 'Yes, it is more important, but we've got to take care of you instead."'

Steed said his investigation is intended to determine if deputies handled the situation well.

"Maybe we're missing something in our training," Steed said. "We always like to do things better."

Steed said law enforcement officers are not trained in rescue techniques, though they do know first aid and CPR. Their job in such a situation would be to make sure medical crews can work, he said.

"There are circumstances where they may want to drop what they're doing to respond," Steed said. "Certainly, they could drop writing a ticket."


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