Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Tuesday, October 20, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 38° Clear
News >  Crime/Public Safety

Deputies involved in death of Newman Lake man identified; victim also named

UPDATED: Fri., Oct. 11, 2019

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office identified the three deputies placed on administrative leave after a man died Saturday night while they attempted to subdue him.

The incident began when woman in Newman Lake told law enforcement she was scared to go down to her basement, where her son, Sergey Rumyantsev, 25, was high on an unknown drug and barricaded in his bedroom, according to court documents.

The man continued to break items and exhibit out of control behavior when several deputies and a Liberty Lake Police Officer arrived, court documents say.

Deputies Phil Pfeifer, Veronica Van Patten and Travis West were involved, the sheriff’s office said Friday.

Pfeifer was hired as a patrol deputy in 2006 and has been a K9 handler since 2014. Van Patten started at the sheriff’s office in 2016 and is a member of the hostage/negotiation team. West, a SWAT team member and field training officer, joined the sheriff’s office in 2015.

Several prior calls involving Rumyantsev indicated he had a history of fighting with law enforcement while intoxicated, according to court documents. Deputies also reportedly witnessed a methamphetamine pipe in his possession during a previous interaction. But Rumyantsev has no criminal record, according to court records.

Rumyantsev’s parents informed the deputies that Rumyantsev had a mental health condition and had been violent lately, according to court documents. They slept with their doors locked because he yelled and broke things throughout the night.

Deputies used a stun gun to subdue Rumyantsev, but it took several deputies to restrain him, according to a news release. After he was handcuffed, Rumyantsev stopped breathing and died at the scene, despite medical attention.

Upon searching the home, deputies found a large amount of alcohol and multiple barricaded doors but no illegal drugs, according to a news release.

The mother informed deputies that she had not seen Rumyantsev use drugs that day, but she believed someone delivered drugs to him and he kept them in his car, according to court documents.

Results from a toxicology analysis, which screens for selected medications and commonly abused drugs, will take several weeks to process, according to Washington State Patrol Trooper Jeff Sevigney, the spokesman for the Spokane Investigative Regional Response Team that is investigating Rumyantsev’s death.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.

New health insurance plans available November 1 through Washington Healthplanfinder

 (Photo courtesy WAHBE)

Fall means the onset of the cold and flu season.