Jeremiah Janis


The man who died after allegedly assaulting people, breaking into a car and motel room, hitting his head against a vehicle, and being pepper sprayed and subdued with a stun gun by Rapid City police has been identified as a boxing coach. 

Jeremiah Janis, a 38-year-old from Rapid City, died Monday at Regional Health, the Rapid City Police said in a news release. An autopsy has been completed but the department is awaiting further tests to determine the cause of death. 

Janis was the head coach of Rapid City Youth Boxing, fellow coach Tony Cleberg told the Journal. Cleberg called Janis an "enthusiastic" person who was "really good with working with kids." 

Janis' coaching experience included mentoring his three sons, according to a January 2018 Journal profile of the family. 

Cleberg said he was surprised to read about Janis' behavior before he died, calling it "totally out of character." 

"My cousin was a loving father, an amazing man who valued his family. This is a tragedy, and we're heartbroken," Madysen Castañeda said about her cousin.

Police responded to East Omaha Street and Maple Avenue around 10:30 a.m. Monday after receiving multiple reports that someone, later determined to be Janis, was trying to fight with people inside a vehicle, according to the initial press release from Rapid City police.

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Witnesses said the man broke the back hatch of the vehicle and climbed inside. They said the driver stopped in front of the Avanti Motel on Maple Avenue and was able to flee with the passengers. 

Janis also exited the vehicle and began damaging a parked SUV, the press release says. At one point, he began head-butting the vehicle. Janis then broke a window at the motel and went inside the room. The person in the room then struck Janis with a bat "several times" until Janis fled and was confronted by police outside the motel. 

Janis refused to listen to officer commands so police pepper-sprayed and stunned him so they could bring him into custody, the release says. Medics arrived to treat and take Janis to the hospital for injuries he received from hitting his head against the vehicle, breaking the window and being struck by the bat, Brendyn Medina, police spokesman, told the Journal. 

Medina said no one in the burglarized vehicle was hurt, but the person in the hotel room had minor injuries.

Police said Janis was in a state of "excited delirium" before his death. The condition is "characterized by agitation, aggression, acute distress and sudden death, often in the pre-hospital care setting. It is typically associated with the use of drugs that alter dopamine processing, hyperthermia, and, most notably, sometimes with death of the affected person in the custody of law enforcement," according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. 

Medina said it's too soon to tell what caused the excited delirium in this case.

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— Contact Arielle Zionts at arielle.zionts@rapidcityjournal.com

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