After release from jail, suspect tries to steal truck from off-duty officer

Publish Date 06/21/2021
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A man tried to steal a truck from an off-duty police officer Friday immediately after being released from jail in the Northland.

Detention officers at Shoal Creek Patrol Division, 6801 N.E. Pleasant Valley Rd., had been ordered to release Luwayne B. Zundel, a 63-year-old white man, a little before noon June 18. He was being held on an unrelated incident. About two blocks away, a 26-year-old off-duty police officer with a neighboring jurisdiction was with his 58-year-old father picking up a trailer in the parking lot of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Temple in the 7000 block of Searcy Creek Parkway.

The father parked his truck, and both he and his son got out to hook up the trailer and were standing at the rear of the truck. They’d left the engine running. Zundel approached and got into the driver’s side of the truck and started to drive off. The son (the off-duty officer) climbed into the truck, and he and Zundel struggled over the gear shift. The truck was rolling through the lot, and the off-duty officer feared it would strike other vehicles. The victim told Zundel he was an off-duty officer, but the suspect kept his foot on the accelerator while he assaulted the victim and tried to gouge his eyes. The victim was able to get his foot on the brake pedal, at which point his father was able to pull the suspect out of the truck. His son came tumbling down on top of the suspect. Father and son held the suspect down until KCPD officers arrived. One of the responding officers recognized Zundel from having just been in the Shoal Creek Patrol Division detention.

The off-duty officer had minor injuries after the incident. Tire tracks in the parking lot showed the struggle.

Zundel has been charged with second-degree robbery and 3rd- and 4th-degree assault. He is being held in lieu of a $100,000 cash-only bond.