Bodycam Video Shows Dallas Firefighter Kicking Mentally Disabled Man In The Face After He Was Detained
A Dallas man is suing a firefighter—and for good reason.
Kyle Vess, a mentally disabled Dallas man, was allegedly walking down Lone Star Drive in West Dallas, Texas in 2019 when he was accused of starting a fire.
Dallas Fire Rescue (DFR) employee Brian Cox approached Vess, accusing him of starting a nearby grass fire. Cox and other DFR employees then attempted to detain Vess and called the Dallas Police Department (DPD) to arrest Vess.
According to Vess' lawyer, Vess was not involved in the grass fire and was simply minding his own business, when Cox attacked him unprovoked.
Police bodycam footage of the incident shows Cox, a trained martial artist, aggressively kicking Vess in the face while he's sitting on the ground.
Watch the bodycam footage here:
The footage begins when DPD arrive to arrest Vess. We see Cox staring down Vess, who is seated on the ground, surrounded by DPD officers.
Cox tells Vess not to get up off of the ground twice. Vess begins to sit up, prompting Cox to full-force kick Vess in the right side of the face.
Vess then gets up to defend himself. Cox punches Vess, hitting him twice.
Then, two DPD officers who were standing nearby and watching this assault unfold, pull out their Taser guns and shock Vess.
Although it seems Vess was attempting to defend himself after being brutally kicked in the face, officers claimed Vess started the altercation.
A Dallas County Sheriff's Office deputy named Garcia then called the incident in, saying:
"One male tased by DPD. Subject swung at a … firefighter."
Vess begins to struggle on the ground, and a DPD officer can be heard asking:
"You want to put him in the back of our car? We'll get him up. That way we don't asphyxiate him or some crap."
As the officers try to pick Vess up off of the ground, he tries to kick off of them. They then pin him to the ground.
One officer can be heard saying:
"Keep him on his side, man. I don't want a f*cking death in custody."
Officers then put Vess on a gurney to lead him into an ambulance. Vess continues to struggle, even attempting to bite one of the officers.
Once Vess is successfully loaded into the ambulance, officer Garcia asks Cox if Vess was starting the grass fires.
"He was going up the service road and he set one right here in front of the engine somewhere, so I got out to go kick it out because it was small before it got big. That's when [Vess] got up and started charging."
As a result of the beating by Cox, Vess was left with fractured sinuses, a fractured orbital socket and broken teeth. Vess' lawyer has reported Vess is also experiencing facial numbness and trembling on the right side of his body.
When questioned by police at the hospital, Vess denied starting the fire and denied starting the physical altercation with Cox.
Vess was quoted as saying:
"He kicked me when I was down."
In a phone call with his mother, Vess told her:
"I got my ass beat, Mom."
Twitter is in an uproar about the incident.
@RawStory A what point does a protector of our society become a monster that physically abuses and attacks the citizens he swore to defend?— Rich Wilfong (@Rich Wilfong) 1632406845.0
@RawStory I hope that this is the last time he is wearing his uniform and that he will be charged for assault.— Kal (@Kal) 1632405789.0
@RawStory To deescalate the situation, @DallasPD officers tazed the person who was assaulted— 🇺🇸⚜️Mᴀɴ ᴏғ Hɪs Wᴏʀᴅ⚜️🇺🇸 M͜͡o͜͡d͜͡e͜͡r͜͡n͜͡a͜͡ (@🇺🇸⚜️Mᴀɴ ᴏғ Hɪs Wᴏʀᴅ⚜️🇺🇸 M͜͡o͜͡d͜͡e͜͡r͜͡n͜͡a͜͡) 1632405864.0
Since when is it legal for a firefighter to kick a mentally unstable homeless man in the face, fracturing his orbit… https://t.co/iPRcKDi1ft— ConcernedCitizen (@ConcernedCitizen) 1632403967.0
This is unconscionable. The guy is suing the officers and the state. This was 2 years ago. https://t.co/Z43e7yXWhm— Doris Bivings♏🦂🥂🥂🥂🥂💙💙❤❤ (@Doris Bivings♏🦂🥂🥂🥂🥂💙💙❤❤) 1632408085.0
@TeaPainUSA That firefighter belongs in a prison cell for a very long time.— Teri Myers (@Teri Myers) 1632407408.0
@TeaPainUSA It’s frightening knowing they are on camera they STILL proceed with such hatred and violence. WTF.— Texas is a Hootenanny (@Texas is a Hootenanny) 1632407358.0
@RawStory "Cox is a trained mixed martial artist, having fought professionally several times. He’s also a jiu jitsu… https://t.co/e5mGWDLU3p— LEE (@LEE) 1632409382.0
Vess is currently suing Cox for detaining and using excessive force on him. The city of Dallas is also named in the lawsuit for providing proper training for the treatment and detainment of mentally ill and homeless individuals.
In addition, the lawsuit intends to hold the city of Dallas responsible for not firing Cox over his history of multiple misconduct allegations.
At this point in time, no official ruling has been made on this case.