Water park firm’s co-owner arrested over Kansas death

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This photo provided by the Cameron County, Texas, Sheriff’s Department shows Jeffrey Henry. The Kansas City Star reports that Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts co-owner Henry was arrested Monday, March 26, 2018, in Cameron County. (Cameron County Sheriff’s Department via AP)

TOPEKA, Kan. — A water park company’s co-owner was arrested Monday 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 Jeffery Henry, co-owner of Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts, was booked into the 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 Tuesday.

Henry’s arrest follows a Kansas grand jury’s indictment last week of the Schlitterbahn park in Kansas City, Kansas, 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.

Schlitterbhan spokeswoman Winter Prosapio said in a statement that considering last week’s indictment, the company is not surprised by Henry’s arrest.

“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.

Caleb was decapitated while riding on the Verruckt slide in the Kansas City park. The indictment alleges that the ride met few, if any, industry standards and that Miles delayed or avoided necessary repairs. Verruckt has been closed since the boy’s death.

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