Co-owner of water park arrested in boy’s death



March 26, 2018 - 11:00 PM

Jeffrey Henry

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A water park company’s co-owner was expected to appear in court after his arrest in Texas in connection with a Kansas criminal case arising from a 10-year-old boy’s death on what was promoted as the world’s largest waterslide.

Records show that Jeffrey Henry, co-owner of Schlitterbahn Water-parks and Resorts, was booked into jail in Cameron County, Texas. He was being held without bond, and a jail booking clerk said he would remain there until a court appearance today.

Henry’s arrest Monday follows a Kansas grand jury’s indictment last week of the Schlitterbahn park in Kansas City, Kan., and its former operations director, Tyler Austin Miles, on 20 felony charges. They included a single count of involuntary manslaughter over the death of Caleb Schwab in 2016.

Schlitterbahn spokeswoman Winter Prosapio said that considering last week’s indictment, the company is not surprised by Henry’s arrest. The company also promised to aggressively fight the criminal charges against Miles and the park, and respond to the allegations in the 47-page indictment “point by point.”

“We as a company and as a family will fight these allegations and have confidence that once the facts are presented it will be clear that what happened on the ride was an unforeseeable accident,” she said in an emailed statement.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office did not respond to phone calls and emails seeking further comment, details about Henry’s arrest, or information about exactly what criminal charges he faces. The Kansas City Star reported that Henry was taken into custody by U.S. marshals out of Brownsville, Texas.

Prosapio said Schlitterbahn does not expect any changes to the Kansas City park’s season, which is set to open May 25 and run through Labor Day. The big slide there — Verruckt, or German for “insane” — has been closed since Caleb died.