Man tased by Kandiyohi County deputy dies, BCA identifies both parties
Authorities now say a man who was tased by a Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Deputy in Willmar late Monday morning has died.
The Minnesota BCA announced early Wednesday afternoon that 75-year-old Michael James Yanacheak of Willmar was tased by Kandiyohi County Deputy Riley Kampsen.
As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, authorities said Yanacheak was tased after multiple agencies were called to a home in the city for a civil matter as a result of a court order. On Wednesday, authorities said that the civil matter was an attempted eviction.
During that attempted eviction, officials said officers and deputies tried to get Yanacheak to open the door, but he didn’t respond. After an hour, the apartment manager pried the door open, allowing officers to enter.
That’s when they found Yanacheak in a bedroom, where the BCA says he picked up a knife and walked toward law enforcement. Although officers tried to retreat, Kampsen — who the BCA says has five years of experience — deployed his Taser.
Yanacheak was given aid by officers and was taken to the hospital, however, he later died.
Authorities add no firearms were discharged during the incident.
Currently, the BCA says their agents are reviewing footage from body cameras, which all of the officers were reportedly wearing.
The BCA also stated that Kampsen is on standard administrative leave.
Yanacheak’s cause of death is still being investigated by the medical examiner.
After the BCA has completed its investigation, the findings will be given to the Kandiyohi County Attorney’s Office to see if formal charges will be filed.
A troubled past
Laura Strey lives across the street and says Yanacheak had been struggling for years.
In 2021, court documents say Yanacheak walked into a nearby house with a knife. Police added that “it appeared like he was having some type of schizophrenic or delusional episode.”
Strey told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it was her house and that no one was hurt in that incident.
Now she and others are wishing for peace for the family and neighborhood.
“It’s a situation that maybe could have been avoided,” Strey said. “But I’m not law enforcement. And I’m not, you know, I’m not able to make those calls. It’s just, it’s unfortunate.”
Yanacheak was charged after that 2021 incident, but he was later found incompetent. A letter from the Kandiyohi County attorney said he wasn’t fit for commitment because his condition was related to dementia and there hadn’t been any safety concerns since.