2914 8 days ago
2914 8 days ago
The parents of a Texas man who died during a 2019 encounter with Wagoner County deputies filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday in Muskogee federal court.
John and Pamela Krueger, in their complaint, claim deputies beat, tased and suffocated their son, Jeffrey Krueger, following a traffic stop in Wagoner on July 1, 2019.
In addition to the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office and two deputies, the lawsuit names Wagoner Emergency Services Inc. and two of its workers.
The lawsuit claims deputies used excessive force on Krueger while trying to detain him following a traffic stop near the intersection of Oklahoma 51 and U.S. 69.
Sheriff Chris Elliott could not be reached for comment. The Wagoner County Courthouse was closed Tuesday due to snow and cold temperatures.
A previous Tulsa World article quoted Elliott as saying Krueger did not follow a deputy’s commands when he approached Krueger’s vehicle.
“The deputy drew a weapon, and the suspect reached out and grabbed it,” Elliott was quoted as saying. “There was a struggle over the gun, and the deputy recovered it.
“A second deputy arrived, and when they got the suspect out of the car, a fight started, lasting approximately four to five minutes before they got him in handcuffs. That’s an eternity to be fighting someone.”
Elliott said Krueger either quit breathing or had difficulty breathing after he was “taken into custody.”
Attorney Mark Lyons, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Kruegers, said in a telephone interview that other records tell a different story.
“It’s obvious from looking at the description of the (ambulance) report and the medical records that he was suffocated and beat to death at the scene,” Lyons said.
Krueger had no pulse, and his pupils were fixed and dilated at the scene, Lyons said. He was transported to a hospital, where he was declared dead.
Hospital X-rays revealed that Krueger had a “flail chest,” which the lawsuit defined as a life-threatening condition where multiple adjacent ribs are fractured, in multiple places, causing the ribs to separate from the chest wall,” according to the lawsuit.
Lyons said one deputy used a Taser on Krueger while another sat on his back, pinning him to the pavement despite Krueger’s calling for help and saying he couldn’t breathe.