KFOR interactive radar
Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Man who died in police custody in Bethany identified 

BETHANY, Okla. – Bethany police have released more details after a man became unresponsive during an arrest and was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

On Monday, just before 10:30 p.m., officers responded to the area near NW 63rd and Rockwell in reference to a disturbance.

Police were told that a man was hitting vehicles, falling down in his driveway, making noises and may have been under the influence. Police were also told a person tried to check on the man, but the man “became aggressive and assumed a fighting stance,” police say.

According to Bethany police, an officer, Steven Yeager, a 7-year veteran, arrived at the scene, and found the man rolling on the ground making “snorting and moaning sounds.”

The man, now identified as 38-year-old Jason Yahola, was then placed in handcuffs.

Police say within minutes, Yahola started showing signs of a possible overdose and became unresponsive.

NARCAN was administered and officers began CPR.

Yahola was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Bethany police announced on Wednesday that a preliminary report from the medical examiner indicates there was no fatal trauma to Yahola and/or no traumatic brain injury.

The cause and manner of death has not been determined and is pending the toxicology reports.

Police have released video of the incident and News 4 is working to obtain it.

Bethany police say there was no improper action by Yeager or other officers.

“Based upon the preliminary report from the medical examiner’s office and reviewing the video, along with officers’ reports and eye witness statements, the investigation has determined there was no improper action by the initial responding officer or any subsequent officer who responded to the incident. The investigation revealed all of the physical trauma that Jason Yahola sustained, occurred prior to any officer’s interaction with him. Officer Yeager has been re-instated back to full duty.”

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.