On January 29, 2024, Detectives from the Newton Police Department, with the assistance of the Salina Police Department made contact with Ryan Andrew Brungardt, an employee of USD 305, at Lakewood Middle School, to seize his cell phone pursuant to a search warrant issued in Harvey County.
After having seized the cell phone, Newton detectives were speaking with Brungardt when Brungardt forcibly grabbed the cell phone from detectives and began breaking the phone. A struggle ensued and Brungardt resisted officers. Brungardt broke the phone rupturing the phones lithium battery causing smoke and a small fire in an office in Lakewood Middle School. Newton detectives deployed a Taser as Brungardt continued to resist. Law enforcement were then able to control Brungardt who was taken into custody.
The fire alarm for the building did activate and the building was evacuated. There was damage to flooring in the school.
During the struggle two Newton detectives and one Salina Police Department detective received minor injuries.
Brungardt was booked into the Saline County Jail and the following charges were referred to the Saline County Attorney: One count of Aggravated Arson, one count of Aggravated Robbery, one count Felony Interference with Law Enforcement, and three counts of Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer.
If anyone has any additional information relative to this case please call Crimestoppers at 825-TIPS. You can also make an on—line tip at: https://www.p3tips.com/tipform.aspx?ID=950#. You may receive a cash reward of up to $1,000. Tipsters may also contact the Salina Police Department at (785) 826-7210.