Civil rights go well with filed after deputy runs over suspect

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – A civil rights lawsuit was filed in federal court in Wichita on Thursday on behalf of a former Kansas City detective. Lionel Womack, 35, says he was traveling in western Kansas on August 15, 2020 when he was stopped by a Kansas Highway Patrol soldier. He then led the authorities of at least three agencies in a car chase before running out of the vehicle into a field where a Kiowa County sheriff’s deputy ran his patrol car over him.

The incident was captured on the dash cam of a Pratt County MP who was involved in the pursuit. The video shows a Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office pickup truck driving next to Womack, hitting him, and then driving over the lower half of his body. Officers then leave their vehicles with guns drawn. Womack was treated for his injuries and has been in Kiowa County Jail since the incident.

Womack’s attorney, Michael Kuckelman, filed the lawsuit because he believes his client’s civil rights have been violated.

“This is a particularly egregious case of lethal violence because they chased an unarmed man into an open field in a sheriff’s patrol car and literally ran him down, knocked him down, and drove the truck over him.” Said Kuckelman. “And that was all about a traffic obstruction.”

Lionel’s wife, Zee Womack, who has been a Kansas City police officer for 13 years, says her husband told her he initially stuck to the officer who pulled him over, but got scared when more officers arrived.

“He had no cell phone service, kind of in the middle of nowhere, and he said his concern was getting to a well-lit place with independent witnesses because he feared something would happen,” Zee Womack said. “So he initiated the persecution by continuing.”

It’s not immediately clear how Lionel Womack’s vehicle was handicapped during the chase, but his wife says the car is now total. Calls to the Kiowa County Sheriff for clarification were not returned Thursday. Once on foot, Womack runs into a field before he is hit by the deputy patrol car and run over. The proxy then tries to turn the vehicle around, but the tires spin and prevent the Womack truck from driving a second time.

Kuckelman has written two letters to Kiowa County Sheriff Chris Tedder demanding the release of the deputy driving officer, Jeremy Rodriguez. In the letters, Kuckelman says Tedder obstructed his investigation and that the sheriff’s office “immediately launched a cover-up,” which he claims began when local MPs told emergency services that Womack was not run over by a vehicle .

In the letter, Kuckelman wrote, “The cover-up began immediately when the Kiowa County Sheriff’s clerk” 104 “incorrectly reported to medical providers that he had viewed the video with the dash camera twice and that Mr. Womack had not been run over . “

Womack “split”, as his wife put it, from the Kansas City Kansas Police Department after 13 years, just days before he led the authorities in western Kansas in the persecution. Zee Womack only saw the video of her husband being taken the night before the civil rights lawsuit was filed. She said it was hard to see. Not just as a woman, but also as a policewoman.

“We’re obviously a law enforcement family, and we’ve both been in law enforcement for over 10 years,” she said. “His mother is a police officer and his stepfather has retired from our department as a sergeant. His aunts are dispatchers. We support the blue brotherhood, but obviously we do not support officers who are rogues because there is no better terminology and that is why he wants justice. “

While she and Kuckelman claim Kiowa County Rep. Jeremy Rodriguez deliberately hit and run over Lionel Womack, Zee Womack said she is not speculating on why.

“I don’t want to play the racing card, but I really don’t know. I don’t know what he was thinking, ”she said. “It’s really hard to say why you felt the need to actually run your vehicle over them in the middle of a field with someone who was obviously unarmed.”

She said her husband called her from prison Thursday to tell her that he was being transferred to an Oklahoma prison where he is being charged with escaping the local authorities. Kuckelman said his next step would be to remove deputy Rodriguez. Zee Womack said her next step was unknown.

“I mean, as a family, we just want to be fair,” she said. “It’s almost Christmas time. Our kids miss their father and it’s really hard to explain … the situation to them. When we preach, not all officers are bad individuals, and that’s what happens. “

Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.

Comments are closed.