Family of man who died in Arrowhead scuffle say he was not a thief

The father of the man who died after a struggle at Arrowhead wants the public to know his son was no thief.

On Sunday, a little after 5 p.m., the owner of a Jeep found Kyle Van Winkle, 30, sitting in his car.  Police said the owner thought Van Winkle was burglarizing the vehicle.

Witnesses say the owner's young son called for help and the group of people who responded punched Van Winkle several times.

Witnesses said it appeared all parties involved had consumed alcohol. 

Police said Van Winkle collapsed and died later at the hospital.

Dean Van Winkle said on Tuesday his son was likely in the wrong place at the wrong time and doubts he was there to steal.

He said his son got into a vehicle that looked very similar to the Tahoe he arrived in.

"It appears he was headed back to where those vehicles were parked. They were a short distance away," Dean said.

Dean said son was an honest man who wanted to be an even better man because he just became a father.  The 30-year-old and his wife Jenni just had a baby seven weeks ago. They named him William.

Dean, a sergeant with the Grandview Police Department, has notified many families about the death of a loved one in his 33 years of police work but it was this week someone had to come and inform him about his son.

"Someone I worked with for years had to make the notification with me," he said.

Four people were arrested and released pending a further investigation.

Detectives are waiting for autopsy results before they can determine exactly how Kyle died or if anyone will be charged.

Police have not released the names of the persons of interest. Sgt. Van Winkle said he wishes different choices would have been made in Lot A on Sunday.

"I just wish someone would have called the police," he said.

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