Involuntary manslaughter charge for Modern Woodmen Park death

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Joseph VanHecke (photo from Scott County Jail)

A Davenport groom now faces an involuntary manslaughter charge in connection with the death of a man he is accused of shoving at a wedding vow renewal ceremony.

Douglas Whalen, 45, of Davenport, was attending a June 13, 2013 wedding vows renewal ceremony at Modern Woodmen Park.   The groom’s son reportedly became disruptive and, when Whalen tried to detain the son, the groom shoved Whalen.  Whalen fell, hit his head and later died.

Preliminary autopsy results released June 18 showed Whalen died of blunt force injury to his head.

The groom, 51-year-old Joseph “Little Joe” VanHecke of Davenport, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct by fighting.  He was released from the Scott County Jail after posting $300 bond.

Police said arrest warrants were issued Friday, July 19, 2013 for VanHecke.  He was arrested Monday morning, July 22, 2013 and charged with involuntary manslaughter and assault with serious injury.

Jail records showed VanHecke spent less than an hour and a half in the Scott County Jail before he was released when he posted the $10,000 cash-only bond.