Benton County inmate still critical after stunning

By Paula Horton, Tri-City HeraldDecember 19, 2012 

A Benton County jail inmate who stopped breathing a short time after being shocked with a Taser gun remained Tuesday in critical condition at a Richland hospital.

Kevin T. Culp, 29, of Spokane, was in the Kennewick jail as a contract inmate for the state Department of Corrections.

He has two felony convictions for manslaughter from Idaho and was under community supervision in Idaho, jail Cmdr. Jon Law told the Herald on Tuesday.

The state Department of Corrections was doing a courtesy hold for Idaho, Law explained.

It wasn't clear how long Culp was supposed to be in custody at the jail or what his supervision violation was. A call to state Department of Corrections officials Tuesday was not returned.

Culp was booked into the Benton County jail Friday, according the jail records.

He reportedly had a medical condition and was housed in a medical isolation cell so jail nurses could watch him, sheriff's officials said.

At 11:29 a.m. Monday, he had an "unknown medical episode" and nurses called for medical help. While two nurses and a corrections officer tried to care for Culp, he became combative, struggled with officers and bit them, officials said.

Culp was shocked with a Taser, but it had little effect on him. He then was put into a restraint chair and moved to a different isolation cell that allowed for closer observation.

About 15 minutes later, however, staff discovered Culp was unresponsive and Kennewick Fire Department paramedics were called.

Culp then was taken to Kadlec, where he's been in the intensive care unit.

The Tri-City Special Investigative Unit was asked to conduct an independent investigation of the incident. Benton County Sheriff Steve Keane said his staff also will do its own internal review.

The SIU includes detectives and administrators from Tri-City law enforcement agencies. The unit can be activated to investigate officer-involved shootings or serious incidents.

This is the third time the SIU has been called on since it was formed two years ago. The two previous incidents were officer-involved shootings in Richland and Pasco.

2 men in Jeep hospitalized after collision with a bus

Two men in a Jeep were taken to the hospital with chest pains or seat belt injuries after they collided with a school bus Tuesday in Kennewick, police said.

There were 11 students from the Tri-Tech Skills Center on the Prosser School District bus, said Kennewick police Sgt. Ken Lattin.

One student suffered a minor cut above his eye. The others were not hurt in the crash at 2:11 p.m. in the 6300 block of West Clearwater Avenue, he said.

The driver of the late-model Jeep, a 27-year-old from Kennewick, pulled out of the parking lot at Perfect Circle Construction directly into the path of the westbound bus, Lattin said.

The driver of the Jeep will be cited for failing to yield the right of way, Lattin said.

SWAT team responds to burglary in Benton City

The Tri-City Regional SWAT team was called to a Benton City home Tuesday after a suspect in a Pasco burglary refused to come out of the house, authorities said.

Michael Tapia Yniguez, 32, of Benton City, was arrested after a five-hour standoff on warrants, and also is a suspect in burglaries in Pasco and Benton and Franklin counties, Benton County sheriff's officials said.

When officers went to the Frazier Road home, Yniguez refused to come out. Deputies had a warrant to search the house, but called the SWAT team because he was possibly armed.

Girl tells authorities 2 men tried to get her into their car

A 12-year-old girl told authorities she was playing outside her home about 6:40 p.m. Sunday when two men in a black Chrysler 300 stopped and told her to get in the car.

She said the men were black and dressed in dark clothes, West Richland police said in a news release.

The girl ran to her house and told her mother, who called police. Officers could not find the Chrysler.

The incident happened on the 5000 block of Holly Way.

West Richland officers are asking anyone who may have seen a black or dark-colored Chrysler 300 in the area of Holly Way between 6 and 7 p.m. Sunday to call police at 509-967-3425.

Police wanted to remind residents and parents to pay close attention to their children and immediately report any suspicious people or events.

Grandview residents sent to hospital in car wreck

Two Grandview residents were hospitalized Tuesday when a driver lost control of her car on Highway 221 south of Prosser.

The wreck happened at 7:30 a.m. about 12 miles south of town, said the Washington State Patrol.

Marianna Marquez, 24, was headed south in a 1993 Ford Festiva when she lost control and the car rolled. She was not wearing a seat belt and was taken to PMH Medical Center in Prosser.

Her passenger, Fabian Zamora Rodriquez, 24, was wearing a seat belt but also was hurt and flown to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland.

Both were treated and released by Tuesday evening.

The state patrol said Marquez was driving too fast for the road conditions.

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