Investigation continues into the death of a Sapulpa man who died during his arrest

Monday, August 16th 2004, 5:08 pm
By: News On 6

Questions for Sapulpa Police concerning a man who bled to death during an arrest. His family says police murdered him, police say it was just a terrible, freak accident.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright says Sapulpa Police held a news conference to answer questions about Darrell Wick's death and Darrell's family showed up, holding his picture up for the cameras, angry and hurting. Victim’s mom Linda Wick: “They killed my son. They said they were going to kill him."

All this heartache started over stolen beer from a convenience store Sunday evening. The officer working that case quickly figured out who took the beer and figured he'd gone to Darrell Wick's house, a house, police knew because Wick had been arrested many times before, so the officer called for backup.

Four officers and one reserve officer got to Wick's house and arrested the beer thief, but say Wick kept interfering so; they decided to arrest him, too. Captain Rick Rumsey, Sapulpa Police: "Mr. Wick ran back inside the residence with the officers in pursuit and a struggle ensued that went out on the porch."

Sapulpa Police say Wick broke free from the officers and fell through the front glass door and cut his neck, but Wick's family says his girlfriend told them police yanked him through the door. Capt Rumsey: "We had a fully trained paramedic on the scene and he tried to help. He's very upset by what he saw. It was just an accident, a freak accident."

Sapulpa Police have called in Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to do the criminal investigation. The police department is also doing an internal investigation.

What's going to make this investigation tough is that one of the officers at the scene grabbed a garden hose and washed the blood off the front porch. He says he did it to spare the family's feelings, but the family says it's part of a cover-up. Linda Wick: "I want justice; I want the police officers behind bars that killed my son. This is murder, its murder."

No matter what happens, no one is the winner in this case. Wick's toxicology reports won't be back for some time.

Police say Wick's previous arrests were for assault and battery with deadly weapon, resisting arrest and public intoxication. His family says he'd served his time and was now enrolled in school.

Sergeant Brad Henson and Officer Mark Swafford are on routine suspension with pay.

A fund has been established to defray funeral expenses. Contributions can be sent to Spirit Bank in Sapulpa in the name of Darrell Wick.