Olathe man charged after attacking, choking officer at Jackson County jail in attempt to escape

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An Olathe man is facing multiple charges after assaulting an officer at the Jackson County jail.

According to the Jackson County Prosecutors Office, 31-year-old Derick J. Peknik faces charges of first degree assault, attempted escape from confinement and stealing a motor-vehicle.

According to court documents, around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, an Independence officer was on duty transporting Peknik and several other inmates to the Jackson County jail from the Independence Municipal jail.

Upon arrival, the officer opened the back of the vehicle at which time Peknik stepped out. He was given a set of crutches due to a broken leg from an earlier incident with police. The officer instructed Peknik to talk to the “Intake” door of the sally port and wait for him there as he had other inmates to let out of the vehicle.

When the officer went to let a second inmate out and close the doors, Peknik rushed up behind him, put him in a chokehold, hooked his leg around the officer and forced them both to the ground. The officer stated he could feel the grip tighten as Peknik arched his back “As a trained fighter would do,” in an attempt to keep the officer from being able to get to his feet.

The officer said as he tried to escape and fight for air, the pressure was getting tighter and he could feel the pressure increase in his head behind his eyes and that he was starting to lose consciousness.

The officer said Peknik then let loose of his neck, let him go but then took the officer’s keys and moved to the front of the vehicle where the officer’s firearm was located.

The officer said he was afraid that since Peknik failed to choke him out, he was possibly going to try and get to the weapon to shoot him and or run him over with the vehicle. The officer was able to run over to Peknik before he could get into the driver’s side of the vehicle where a second altercation occurred for a moment before jail staff arrived to help the officer and get Peknik control and into restraints.

The court documents state Peknik also struck the officer with a closed fist. Surveillance video showed Peknik choked the officer for 22 seconds before releasing him and taking the keys.

Prosecutors have requested a bond of $200,000 for Peknik.


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