Fire service employee thought victim was responsible for a small fire before he was struck
EN Dallas fire and rescue employee is reportedly facing a lawsuit from a man who the the employee kicked during a roadside fire in August 2019, despite suffering from a mental illness.
Kyle Vess, i følge De Dallas Observer, was walking along Lone Star Drive in West Dallas on 8 august 2019 when he was confronted by a first responder, Brad Cox, from Dallas Fire and Rescue.
Mr Cox, a trained martial artist, was seen in body camera footage looking over Mr Vess as he sat down on the road, accused of starting a small roadside fire.
The man was reportedly restrained by Dallas Fire and Rescue while waiting for police.
Mr Vess, surrounded by Dallas Fire and Rescue and police, was told not to get up, and when he sat up, Mr Cox kicked him, footage shows.
Mr Cox also appeared to land two punches on Mr Vess, who has a mental illness after suffering from a brain injury from before the incident, it was alleged.
Footage also appears to show him falling back to the ground after being tasered by Dallas police, and the struggle with Mr Cox and officers lasts until he is handcuffed.
The Observer reported that Mr Vess was loaded into an ambulance not longer after, and suffered multiple fractures and swelling.
He is now suing Mr Cox and the city of Dallas, alleging excessive force and a lack of training on dealing with mentally ill or homeless people.
A lawyer for Mr Vess, Sean J McCaffity, told the outlet that “There was no reason [for Mr Cox] to do what he did,” and that as a result of the incident, his client has a numb face and trembling in the right side of his body.
Mr McCaffity added: “It certainly worsened the condition he was in already and has made it much more difficult, if not impossible, for him to hold down a job and function”.
The City of Dallas told Den uavhengige it would not comment on the incident as litigation was pending. It was not clear if Mr Cox had a lawyer.