Man dies after fleeing Chandler police The Chandler Arizonan

Man dies after fleeing Chandler police

Man dies after fleeing Chandler police

Arizonian News Staff


A 32-year-old man’s scuffle with a Chandler Police officer on Jan. 27, started a series of events and ended in his death, after wrecking his car, with a woman jailed and the officer hospitalized. 

Kevin Smallman died from a gunshot wound sustained during a chaotic getaway attempt near the Hampton Inn Hotel on Detroit Street. 

He attempted to outrun Officer Jonathan Castlegrante but the officer ended up in the car before Smallman crashed into a brick wall. 

The Jan. 26 incident began on when Castlegrante spotted a white Toyota Prius reported stolen. The officer attempted to pull the vehicle over but the driver did not stop and fled. 

The following morning, Castlegrante noticed the same Toyota Prius parked outside a hotel on West Detroit Street and saw Smallman exit the vehicle.   

The officer approached Smallman and his 26-year-old companion, Krystal Ehrlich, and advised the suspect he was under arrest. Smallman and Ehrlich ran out of the hotel and jumped back into the stolen car. 

Castlegrante ran after the couple and attempted to detain Smallman from inside the vehicle. Smallman then started the vehicle and drove it with Castlegrante still inside. 

As the two men struggled, Castlegrante pushed the emergency button on his portable radio, which allowed dispatchers and other officers to hear what was happening inside the car. They reported hearing Castlegrante yell “Don’t do it, I’ll shoot you.” 

The officer fired one round from his weapon, striking Smallman and causing him to crash. Castlegrante, Smallman, and Ehrlich were all pulled from the vehicle and transported to the hospital for injuries. 

Castlegrante was released from the hospital later that day. Ehrlich was treated for minor injuries and booked into jail for two drug charges. Smallman died at the hospital. 

Smallman previously served time in the Arizona Department of Corrections for burglary, theft, and DUI charges. 

Castlegrante transferred to Chandler Police in February 2018, after working for the Yuma Police Department for five years. 

Chandler Police said its investigation into the incident is ongoing and did not give the cause of Smallman’s death.

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