Autopsy Results Imply Drug Use, Not Taser, Caused Columbus Man’s Death

An 18-year old Columbus man died after leading Harris County Deputies on a high-speed chase around 2:00am Monday morning.

Harris County Sheriff, Mike Jolley, said the department first received a call after Nicholas Tanner Dyksma was found sleeping in his car at a Circle K Gas Station. Deputies arrived at the gas station. When the deputies approached Dyksma’s 1993 Toyota truck, he refused to roll down his windows and respond to the officers. Dyksma then took off in his truck on Highway 27 driving towards Columbus. Dyksma was said to be driving around 90 MPH.

Jolley said deputies threw spikes down onto the highway, which deflated Dyksma’s truck. His truck then hit one of the deputy’s patrol cars. Deputies then were able to guide Dyksma off the main road, slowing down to about 3 MPH. Although the man still tried to escape by spinning his wheels, he was unable to do so because he was stuck in a ditch off the side of Highway 27, intersecting with SR-208.

As deputies approached the truck, Dyksma still refused to roll down his windows. Eventually, deputies were able to break through his passenger side door. They then proceeded to tase Dyksma after he would not cooperate with their commands.

Deputies began to handcuff Dyksma when they noticed he was having shortness of breath. They immediately removed the handcuffs and turned the man on his back to help him breathe. When the deputies did this, they noticed he was no longer breathing and proceeded to perform CPR. EMS arrived at the scene minutes later, but were not able to resuscitate him and was pronounced dead.

Sheriff Jolley said the four deputies involved with the incident found pills, a ski mask and a BB Gun in his truck. The sheriff also said Dyksma had a history with drug abuse, where he’d been in and out of rehab facilities. Dyksma’s body is being examined by a coroner in Atlanta to determine his exact cause of death as well as a toxicology report.

Harris County Sheriff’s Department has not had an in-custody death in almost 20 years. The deputies involved in the incident are not on administrative leave, but will be off duty until Wednesday, September 2nd.

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