Handcuffed Man Drowned Tragically in Lake of the Ozarks

Life Jacket with Three Buckles Came Off Handcuffed Man

Young twenty-year-old Brandon E. Ellingson of Clive, Iowa drowned tragically at around 5.30 p.m. on Saturday in Lake of the Ozarks while his hands were handcuffed behind his back. Brandon Ellingson was arrested on suspicion of boating while intoxicated and transported in a police boat which had no seatbelts. Missouri State Patrol Sergeant Reinsch said that Ellingson was wearing a standard Level 3 life jacket at the time he was transported across the lake.

Brandon Ellingson went off the boat. It is uncertain if he fell or jumped in the water. How the life jacket with three buckles in front came off from a handcuffed Ellingson will be a key part of the Missouri Highway Patrol’s investigation. Sergeant Reinsch refused to discuss arrest protocol on the water with the media.

Gloria Ellingson, heartbroken grandmother of Brandon Ellingson, says her grandson was handsome and smart. He graduated in 2012 from Valley High School in West Des Moines and studied at Arizona State University. His future plans included working with his father at Glacier Properties in Clive.

The body of Brandon Ellingson was recovered the following morning at about eighty feet under the water. Sergeant Reinsch said the Missouri State Highway Patrol policies require anyone arrested to be placed in handcuffs. According to the sergeant, Ellingson stood up in the boat, after which he went over board and the officer did try to rescue Brandon.

The sergeant also stated that the life jacket was on, and it somehow came loose at some point after Ellingson entered the water. A water patrol report posted online listed Anthony Piercy as the officer driving the patrol boat at the time of the incident. This was no boating accident, but a wrongful death of the most egregious kind.

Making an Arrest

Officers cannot arrest someone without being able to justify their arrest. The officer must have observed a crime, have probable cause to believe that the arrested person committed a crime or have an arrest warrant.

When the police or patrols arrest someone, they take away that person’s right to freedom. A police officer that places a person in restraints assumes responsibility for that person’s well being. A handcuffed person might be off balance and prone to fall.

The US Supreme Court has ruled that when a police officer handcuffs you, they are taking away your freedom of movement. The Fourth Amendment states the police cannot do it without disclosing their reason for doing so. Before officers use handcuffs, they must be satisfied that there is reasonable apprehension of violence, there is a lawful arrest, the arrested person attempted to escape or restraint is necessary for the safety of the officer or the other person.

A police officer is allowed to handcuff you. It is important for the officer to articulate circumstances and facts that would lead an officer to believe there is a reasonable safety concern.According to the United States Supreme Court, an officer’s use of handcuffs must be in compliance with case and statutory law.

The rules regarding what an officer must do while making the arrest varies by jurisdiction. In 1966, the United Supreme Court ruled in Miranda versus Arizona that individuals who are under arrest for suspicion of having committed a crime have certain rights that must be explained to them before any questioning may occur.

Officers generally restrain people to protect themselves, protect the handcuffed person, or protect others from the restrained person. Restraining a person gives the officer greater self-protection and control.

Main Reasons for Boating Accidents in Missouri

Missouri is home to more lakes than almost any other state in the United States. Boating while intoxicated is one of the main contributing causes for deaths on the Missouri lakes and rivers. In 2010, boating while under the influence of alcohol contributed to the deaths of 126 people and 293 injured. Many tragic accidents also occur because of speeding, inexperience or boaters being distracted. Bad weather and defective boat parts can also place boaters in danger. According to the United States Coast Guard, eighty-eight percent of people who drown in boating accidents are not wearing a life jacket.

Keep the Waterways Safe

The Missouri State Highway Patrol requires all boats to be properly maintained. You cannot operate a boat unless you are over the age of fourteen. All boat operators are required to pass a safety course and must be registered with the State. Boaters are considered negligent if they do not follow the safety rules.

Recent News

See What's Happening

  • St. Louis Bicycle Accident Claims
    Jan04

    St. Louis Bicycle Accident Claims

    While there are fewer cyclists on the roads than cars and trucks, the injury and mortality rates are much higher than the average motorist....
  • Missouri Dog Bites On the Rise
    Jan04

    Missouri Dog Bites On the Rise

    Dog bites in the US? Nearly 4.5 million per year, according to Insurance Information Institute, dog bites accounted for more than $600 million in...
  • Dog Bite Claims and Homeowners Insurance
    Oct03

    Dog Bite Claims and Homeowners Insurance

    Unless you have experienced a dog bite you are unlikely to realize how serious dog bites can be. In fact they can be so...
  • Insurance Companies Accused of Fake Repairs
    Feb21

    Insurance Companies Accused of Fake Repairs

    Those suffering from an accident need their vehicle repaired so they can get back to work, attend medical appointments, and meet the other demands...
  • Most Dangerous Intersections in Missouri
    Feb14

    Most Dangerous Intersections in Missouri

    Data analyzed from 2005-2010 shows that St. Louis is home to the most dangerous intersection in Missouri. Learn more about Missouri's most dangerous intersections...
  • Distracted Driving Accidents On The Rise
    Feb10

    Distracted Driving Accidents On The Rise

    Distracted driving continues to cause unnecessary suffering. Missouri is home to some of the most lenient laws in the United States when it comes...

Personal Injury Attorney

Legal & Injury Representation St. Louis Deserves.

Results — that's what clients expect from Dixon Injury Firm. Chris brings years of personal injury law experience to the table. Based in St. Louis, his firm provides free consultations and contingency service to the high-caliber injury and liability legal arena. Tell us about your case and we'll show you how to win.

Recent Successes

  • Policy Limits Settlement

    Missouri Truck Accident

    $30,000.00 Settlement

    Missouri Car Crash With Minor Property Damage

  • $40,000 Settlement

    Missouri Low Impact Automobile Accident

    $40,000 Settlement

    Missouri Dog Bite

  • $45,000 Settlement

    Missouri Dog Bite

    $50,000 Settlement

    Missouri Auto Accident

  • $50,000 Settlement

    Missouri Car Accident Crash

    $65,000 Settlement

    Missouri Pedestrian Accident

Get The Representation You Need Today!

Reach out to Chris Dixon for personal injury, workers compensation, product liability, and other legal services for experienced, reliable counsel and representation in St. Louis.

Contact Us Today

Schedule a
Callback

 

Submit Your
Case Details