An Oklahoma City Police recruit who was critically injured during arrest and control training died as a result of that injury, the agency has announced.
Kelley Chase, 38, was scheduled to graduate with the 47-member Class 129 on Dec. 6. He died on Friday.
"Recruit Chase will be missed by all who knew him," according to an agency statement posted on Facebook. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family as well as Class 129."
Chase, who entered the academy on May 25, was participating in a two-week training block called "custody, control, and defensive tactics" when the injury occurred.
"It was basically a freak accident," Capt. Dexter Nelson told POLICE Magazine.
The instructor was demonstrating a take-down maneuver on Chase, when the recruit hit his head and didn't get up. At this point, it doesn't appear the instructor is at fault, Nelson said.
"They're not trying to knock people's heads off," Nelson said. "They're doing it at a speed where they can handle it, but where they can show proficiency of the technique."
As a result of Chase's death, Chief Bill Citty is reviewing various marital arts-style padded helmets for future recruits.
The internal affairs department is conducting an investigation, and the medical examiner will determine the exact cause of death.
Before joining the department, Chase was a military pilot based at Tinker Air Force Base who flew high-altitude AWACS missions. He leaves behind a wife and two small children.
By Paul Clinton