Victoria man pleads guilty to trying to run down deputies

Wayne Sidney Ladusch

A Victoria man who tried in April to commit suicide by running down sheriff's deputies in his white Buick sedan was sentenced to three 15-year prison sentences.

Wayne Sidney Ladusch, 38, pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon last week.

A judge sentenced Ladusch to 15 years in prison for each charge. He has to serve at least seven years before he becomes eligible for parole, Assistant District Attorney Johna Stallings said.

Ladusch's attorney Keith Weiser declined to comment.

Ladusch told 911 dispatchers on April 16 that he wanted to hang himself before he changed his mind, speeding toward police in the 5500 block of state Highway 185. He ducked when deputies responded by firing at him with their service guns a 9 mm, .375-caliber Sig, and a .40-caliber Smith and Wesson, according to earlier reports.

Victoria County District Attorney Stephen B. Tyler said Ladusch was found to be mentally competent enough to stand trial, but other cases came up.

"This certainly wasn't a who -done-it," Tyler said. "We thought 15 years was adequate."

Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor said the deputies involved weren't happy the case didn't go to trial, but it's not up to them.

"The district attorney's office is going to have to measure what's better suited as far as the consequences from the justice system," he said.

He said the threat posed by Ladusch, who had been drinking and was upset about a domestic situation, justified deadly force.

"(He) should feel very fortunate that he's still living," said O'Connor, who has seen several people attempt a "suicide by cop" during his law enforcement career.

"It's a good day when our officers get to go home under those circumstances," O'Connor said. "Every time you put on a badge, you don't know what you may come upon."