ST. PAUL — The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the man who died after a Kandiyohi County sheriff’s deputy shocked him with a Taser during an attempted eviction. The incident happened Jan. 29 in Willmar. The cause of death of Michael James Yanacheak, 75, of Willmar, is undetermined pending further investigation by the medical examiner.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating this incident and has identified the Kandiyohi County sheriff’s deputy who deployed his Taser as Riley Kampsen.
• Riley Kampsen has five years of law enforcement experience.
Two Kandiyohi County sheriff’s deputies and two Willmar police officers went to Yanacheak’s apartment the morning of Jan. 29 to perform a court-ordered eviction. They tried to get him to open the door but he didn’t respond. After about an hour, the apartment manager pried open the door and the law enforcement officers went inside. They found Yanacheak in a bedroom, where he picked up a kitchen knife and walked towards them. The law enforcement officers tried to retreat out of the apartment, but at one point, Kampsen deployed his Taser, striking Yanacheak. The officers provided medical care at the scene until Yanacheak could be taken to the hospital, where he later died. At no time did anyone involved in this incident discharge a firearm.
A Willmar police officer recovered a knife at the scene, which was later turned over to BCA crime scene personnel. Kampsen and the two Willmar police officers were all wearing body cameras. BCA agents are reviewing all available video as part of the active investigation.
The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office asked the BCA to investigate this incident. Once the investigation is complete, the BCA will present its findings without a charging recommendation to the Kandiyohi County Attorney’s Office for review.