KDPS officer resigns after man leaves cruiser, hit by car

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A Kalamazoo officer has resigned following a two-month internal investigation, according to the Department of Public Safety.

Jason VanDyken, 24, was put on administrative leave in February because of a potential violation of department policy.

News 8 confirmed that the violation stems from a Feb. 7 incident in which a 42-year-old Vicksburg man was hit by a car minutes after VanDyken let the man get out of his cruiser. 

VanDyken first made contact with the man during a service call. KDPS says the report of the call said that the man stated he wanted to kill himself and asked for a ride to the Ascension Borgess Hospital psychiatric unit. 

KDPS says VanDyken started to give the man a ride to the hospital, but during the trip, VanDyken said the man became hostile.

“It became unreasonable for me to continue transporting him to a location that he stated he did not want to go,” VanDyken wrote in a report, according to a source. “I was obligated to allow (the man) to freely exit my patrol vehicle upon his request to no longer go to Borgess.” 

Minutes after exiting the officer’s cruiser, the man was a victim of the hit-and-run near the intersection of Gull Road and Rockingham Avenue, less than 150 feet from where he had been dropped off by VanDyken. KDPS says the man survived with broken bones. 

VanDyken has been with the department since 2018. He is the son of Kalamazoo County Undersheriff James VanDyken.