Police release surveillance tape of struggle with Otto Zehm - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Police release surveillance tape of struggle with Otto Zehm

Posted: Updated:

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Police Department released the surveillance tape that shows Otto Zehm's struggle with police. 

The tape shows Zehm, a mentally disabled janitor, apparently in retreat during a confrontation with police in Spokane. An officer is seen repeatedly striking Zehm with a baton.  He also used a taser in an effort to gain control over Zehm.  The officer said Zehm had a two liter bottle of soda in his hand, something that isn't clear on the tape.  According to Police Chief Jim Nicks, the officer said Zehm lunged at him and declined to follow instructions.

About 16 minutes after his confrontation with officers, Zehm reportedly stopped breathing.  Officers said they had Zehm on his side to assist him in his breathing, although the surveillance video does not clearly show that.  Paramedics gave him medical attention by taking out the taser probes.  They left, but returned about ten minutes later when he started having problems breathing.  They administered CPR because Zehm wasn't breathing, then rushed him to a downtown hospital.  Zehm fell into a coma and died two days later.

Two months after the scuffle, the investigation concluded that Zehm died of heart failure as a result of Excited Delirium.  The Medical Examiner said it wasn't the batons or the taser shocks that killed him. Excited Delirium is described as a disturbance in consciousness and a change in mental status over a short amount of time.  Victims have a reduced ability to focus on their surroundings.  They become disoriented and may, in some cases, hallucinate.  Delirious people often, according to experts, become frightened and defiant when confronted.

Police initially became aware of Zehm before he even entered the ZipTrip store on N. Division Street on March 18.  Two women said they were at a nearby ATM when someone matching Zehm's description walked up to them.  They said they were afraid Zehm was going to rob them.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Pierce County woman wakes up to stranger in her house rubbing her face

    Pierce County woman wakes up to stranger in her house rubbing her face

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 1:11 AM EDT2018-04-24 05:11:05 GMT

    PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. - A Pierce County woman was terrified over the weekend when she woke up to a stranger in her house rubbing her face. She ran to her neighbor's house and the neighbor contacted the Pierce County Sheriff's Office at around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday. Arriving deputies spoke with the neighbor who called 911. 

    >>

    PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. - A Pierce County woman was terrified over the weekend when she woke up to a stranger in her house rubbing her face. She ran to her neighbor's house and the neighbor contacted the Pierce County Sheriff's Office at around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday. Arriving deputies spoke with the neighbor who called 911. 

    >>
  • Thief steals military man’s gift for little brother

    Thief steals military man’s gift for little brother

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 2:09 AM EDT2018-04-24 06:09:15 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane mother is heartbroken because what a thief took from her family was so much more than just a piece of mail. One of her sons serving in the military, stays connected with his little brother through video games, so he sent him one as a gift. However, the little brother never got it because the thief took it right off their front porch.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane mother is heartbroken because what a thief took from her family was so much more than just a piece of mail. One of her sons serving in the military, stays connected with his little brother through video games, so he sent him one as a gift. However, the little brother never got it because the thief took it right off their front porch.

    >>
  • Florida photojournalist finds kidnapped 8-month-old baby

    Florida photojournalist finds kidnapped 8-month-old baby

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 7:44 AM EDT2018-04-24 11:44:37 GMT

    KHQ.COM - A photojournalist in Florida found an eight-month-old baby boy who was kidnapped during a carjacking. WFLA's Michael Egger found the infant in a condo parking lot Monday while working on an unrelated story with a reporter. The baby was alone in his car seat with a bottle tucked underneath his arm. The reporter called 9-1-1, and police showed up 30-seconds later.

    >>

    KHQ.COM - A photojournalist in Florida found an eight-month-old baby boy who was kidnapped during a carjacking. WFLA's Michael Egger found the infant in a condo parking lot Monday while working on an unrelated story with a reporter. The baby was alone in his car seat with a bottle tucked underneath his arm. The reporter called 9-1-1, and police showed up 30-seconds later.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/