The co-designer of the Schlitterbahn waterslide, that killed a 10-year-old boy, was arrested at DFW Airport Monday night.
John Schooley, 72, arrived aboard a flight from China. The U.S. Marshals North Texas Fugitive Task Force took him into custody and was booked into the Dallas County jail.
Schooley faces charges of second-degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated endangering of a child. He was indicted by a grand jury in Kansas last month.
The indictment alleges Schooley had no technical or engineering expertise when he designed the Verruckt waterslide. Caleb Schwab, the son of Kansas Rep. Scott Schwab, was decapitated on the slide in August 2016 at the Kansas City water park.
Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeffrey Henry and Tyler Miles, the former director of operations at the Kansas City water park, were also indicted.
According to the indictment, neither Henry nor Schooley possessed any kind of "technical or engineering credential" relevant to designing waterslides. The indictment also claims Henry made a "spur of the moment" decision to build the waterslide to impress producers of a Travel Channel show.
Former Dallas County prosecutor Toby Shook is following the case, pointing out why criminal charges are rarely seen in this type of case
“To go to the criminal level, you have to go to a higher burden of proof,” Shook said.
When it comes to injuries on Verruckt, the indictment claims Schlitterbahn "covered up similar incidents.”
“If there's evidence that patrons had already been injured prior to this and they didn't change the design, that will go back to the prosecution's side to say they knew the risk was there and they kept going forward because they wanted to make money,” Shook said.
Schlitterbahn disputes the allegations. In a statement, the company says it's "fighting these charges aggressively." They deny "that anyone concealed or tampered with evidence" and says "Tyler, Jeff and John are innocent… We run a safe operation."
The Verruckt ride has been closed since Schwab's death.
Schooley is expected to be sent back to Kansas City for an appearance before a judge.