Parents drop lawsuit in 2014 death of Iowa patrol detainee

IOWA CITY — The parents of a handcuffed detainee killed in a 2014 highway accident after escaping from an Iowa State Patrol car have dropped their lawsuit against the state, their lawyer confirmed Tuesday.

Matthew Lentzkow’s parents believe they achieved their goal of learning facts of the incident that were not publicized by law enforcement officials and are ready to move on, attorney Joseph Cacciatore said.

Lentzkow, 36, was stopped by state trooper Matthew Papin for drunken driving after he was driving erratically on Interstate 80 in central Iowa in the early morning of Nov. 1, 2014. Two deputies from Jasper County responded to give Papin backup.

Police video shows Lentzkow tried to flee from the officers on foot during the arrest, and he was tackled and handcuffed. The deputies then offered to put Lentzkow in their vehicle, which was equipped with a backseat safety cage to transport suspects. Papin declined and instead buckled Lentzkow in the front passenger seat of his patrol car with his hands cuffed behind his back.

All three officers then left Lentzkow while they went to search his truck about 50 feet away for contraband. Lentzkow managed to unbuckle his seat belt, open the door and begin running across the interstate when he was struck by a van and died.