Published: Wed, April 04, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Fed. agents arrest designer of water slide that killed Kan. boy

Fed. agents arrest designer of water slide that killed Kan. boy

"Verruckt's design guaranteed that rafts would occasionally go airborne in a manner that could severely injure or kill occupants", the indictment said.

John Schooley, 72, was taken into custody Monday evening at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport by members of the department's North Texas Fugitive Task Force.

Schooley, and two other water park executives face charges related to the death of 10-year-old Caleb Schwab, who was decapitated in an August 7, 2016 accident on the Verrückt waterslide, billed as the world's tallest at the time, at Schlitterbahn Waterparks & Resorts in Kansas City.

He is facing charges of second-degree murder, aggravated battery, and aggravated endangering of a child. Tyler Miles, the former operations director of the Schlitterbahn Waterpark, was arrested prior to Henry and charged with 20 felony counts, including involuntary manslaughter.

The U.S. Marshals Service said Schooley was being held in Dallas pending arraignment and removal to Kansas.

Authorities accuse John Schooley of lacking the engineering expertise necessary for the planning and construction of the "Verruckt" water slide at Schlitterbahn Kansas City.

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Henry and Schooley are accused of rushing the waterslide into service.

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The indictment listed 13 injuries during the 182 days the ride was in operation, including two concussions. "In fact, the design and operation of Verruckt complied with few, if any, of the relevant industry safety standards".

The indictment also said Schooley admitted, "If we actually knew how to do this, and it could be done that easily, it wouldn't be that spectacular".

In a statement to CNN last week, the Schlitterbahn Waterpark called Schwab's death "tragic", but maintained that the defendants would be proven innocent when the case goes to trial.

Prosapio said Schlitterbahn does not expect any changes to the Kansas City park's season, which is set to open May 25 and runs through Labor Day.

The ownership group of Schlitterbahn park filed for bankruptcy previous year after plans to expand the operation floundered in the wake of the accident.

The indictment includes allegations that the management group covered up evidence that would incriminate Miles, and attempted to hinder the police investigation of Caleb's death and other accidents that occurred on the waterslide.

An initial court hearing for Henry is scheduled for Thursday in Wyandotte County District Court.

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