Columbus, Ga- In 2015, Greg and Tammy Dyksma were living their version of the American Dream. A beautiful home nestled in a peaceful North Columbus neighborhood and two kids, a girl and a boy they both adored. But their dream soon became a nightmare when their son Nicholas, under the influence of meth was tasered, dragged from his truck and restrained with a knee to the neck by a Harris County Police Officer, which was a contributing factor to his death, according to the official autopsy report. Their dream was officially over. This is their story.
“Any instrument he could pick up, he would learn,” says Tammy Dyksma. “And he’d just told me,”Mom, I’m gonna learn to play the drums. He was just excited about music.”
Like any young person, Nicholas Dyksma had dreams, but one fateful encounter with police would change everything.
“The coroner doesn’t come to your house just to say hi,” says Greg Dyksma.”So when I saw that coroner car sitting there and him standing out there, I knew something was wrong.”
That something was confirmation that his son would never return home.
In dash cam footage released by the Harris County Police, Nicholas Dyksma can be seen being tasered, pulled from his pick-up truck and thrown onto the ground as ex-deputy Tommy Pierson restrains an unresponsive Dyksma by placing his knee on his neck.
“The coroner told me that his entire body cavity was full of blood because his heart exploded,” says Greg Dyksma.
“From what I know, they are not trained to put their knee on someone’s neck,” says Tammy Dyksma.
And it is that moment that Greg Dyksma says is the cause of his anger, and a civil lawsuit filed by him and his wife against Officer Tommy Pierson.
“My son didn’t commit a crime. He didn’t do anything wrong until they started the chase,” says Greg Dyksma. “If they would have waited and brought him back the next day, I would have gladly brought him to the police because that’s how I raised him. I would have told him-you’re gonna pay the price for what you’ve done and what you did isn’t worth a death sentence.”
Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley: “I don’t think there was any wrongdoing on law enforcement’s part.”
For the Dyksma’s, that declaration by Sheriff Jolley only adds insult to injury.
Reporter: “So your view of law enforcement has changed?”
“Yes. I don’t trust the police,” says Greg Dyksma.
“Our house isn’t happy anymore and I don’t know if it ever will be again,” says Tammy Dyksma.
For Greg, there’s one regret.
“I can’t say that we left on a good note and that’s sad.”
Reporter: Is there anything you’d like to say to him now that you didn’t get a chance to say before he left us?”
“I just wish I could go back.”