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>>

  • Convicted Idaho dog killer arrested in Washington

    Convicted Idaho dog killer arrested in Washington

    Thursday, September 20 2018 3:55 AM EDT2018-09-20 07:55:33 GMT

    A man convicted for killing a dog in Kootenai County was arrested by the Okanogan County deputies on Friday. Austin Stephen Matott was released from jail on a $25,000 on Tuesday. He was pulled over for a routine traffic stop a few days beforehand. Matott was wanted in Idaho for skipping his sentencing hearing last month, August 7. He was found guilty of two charges of animal abuse and cruelty. A jury found Matott responsible for killing a corgi-heeler mix named Hank, who was...

    >>

    A man convicted for killing a dog in Kootenai County was arrested by the Okanogan County deputies on Friday. Austin Stephen Matott was released from jail on a $25,000 on Tuesday. He was pulled over for a routine traffic stop a few days beforehand. Matott was wanted in Idaho for skipping his sentencing hearing last month, August 7. He was found guilty of two charges of animal abuse and cruelty. A jury found Matott responsible for killing a corgi-heeler mix named Hank, who was...

    >>
  • Spokane man booked into Kooenai County Jail for 21st time

    Spokane man booked into Kooenai County Jail for 21st time

    Thursday, September 20 2018 1:51 PM EDT2018-09-20 17:51:49 GMT

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office reports a 39-year-old man from Spokane was booked into the Kootenai County Jail for the 21st time on Wednesday. Deputies arrested Anthony K. Thompson for a felony escape from community custody warrant and possession of stolen property.

    >>

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office reports a 39-year-old man from Spokane was booked into the Kootenai County Jail for the 21st time on Wednesday. Deputies arrested Anthony K. Thompson for a felony escape from community custody warrant and possession of stolen property.

    >>
  • Spokane sex trafficking victim gets second chance as shop owner

    Spokane sex trafficking victim gets second chance as shop owner

    Tuesday, September 18 2018 8:42 PM EDT2018-09-19 00:42:17 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - From the outside, the Repeat Boutique looks like a lot of other thrift shops in Spokane.  Inside, some might describe the stuff for sale as old, used, discarded garbage -- but store manager CJ Curtis sees its potential. And just like the goods in her shop, CJ is on her way to a new life, one far from the one she once lived. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - From the outside, the Repeat Boutique looks like a lot of other thrift shops in Spokane.  Inside, some might describe the stuff for sale as old, used, discarded garbage -- but store manager CJ Curtis sees its potential. And just like the goods in her shop, CJ is on her way to a new life, one far from the one she once lived. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/