Paramedic and MMA fighter suspended after video appears to show him kicking homeless man in the head

Officer Brad Cox cleared by police but now suspended by Dallas Fire-Rescue over incident

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 20 October 2021 23:36
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MMA fighting paramedic kicks homeless man in the head

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An MMA-trained paramedic has been suspended after video emerged of him kicking a homeless man in the head during a call-out.

Brad Cox was caught on police bodycams allegedly striking Kyle Vess as emergency services responded to a grass fire in Dallas, Texas.

Mr Cox can be heard on the Sheriff’s deputies video explaining the 2019 altercation with Mr Vess, who has now sued him over the incident.

“He was going up the service road and he sat right here in front of the engine somewhere, so I got out to kick it out while it was small before it got big, and that’s when he got up and charged,” Mr Cox told officers.

As officers moved in to arrest Mr Vess, the video shows Mr Cox, who is employed by Dallas Fire-Rescue, tell Mr Vess to get up before allegedly kicking him in the head.

Police officers then tased Mr Vess and arrested him.

A lawyer for Mr Vess, a 32-year-old mentally disabled man with a traumatic brain injury, says that the incident left his client needing hospital treatment for a fractured orbital socket and sinus, as well as cracked teeth.

Attorney George Milner says his client’s face is now numb and the right side of his body trembles, according to WFAA.

“The fact remains, Mr Cox basically bludgeoned my client, sent him to Parkland Hospital and kicked him with a firefighter boot,” Milner told the news station.

Mr Milner also claims that the incident was made worse by the fact that Mr Cox is a trained Mixed Martial Arts fighter.

“The fireman says very clearly, ‘come on, get up’ again, and challenges him to a fight,” said Mr Milner.

The incident was investigated by Dallas police and Mr Cox was cleared of criminal wrong doing.

Mr Cox, 45, was also investigated over a 2016 incident when paramedics were called to treat a homeless man with a head injury, but instead were accused of mocking him.

Hirschell Fletcher was taken to jail rather than hospital and later died of a “slow brain bleed caused by his head injuries”, reports WFAA.

Mr Cox and another paramedic were not held criminally responsible for the death but were indicted for “falsifying a report to cover up his failure to render aid at the scene.”

Mr Cox pleaded guilty and was placed on 12 months probation by the department.

Dallas Fire-Rescue has declined to comment because of pending lawsuits in both incidents.

“The department will not be making any comments, or responding to any questions, about Brad Cox, as he and the incident in which he was involved are the subject of ongoing litigation,” spokesperson Jason Evans told The Independent.

“Officer Cox is currently on paid administrative leave.”

Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot now admits that his office should have taken a closer look at the incident at the time.

“I don’t have any excuses to make,” Mr Creuzot told The Dallas Morning News.

“After watching the footage, it’s clear that this office would have handled the case differently had that video been available at the time of the initial review,” he said in a statement.

“It may not have changed the outcome, because we can only guess at what a grand jury would have done, but the case should have been further investigated and presented.”

Mr Creuzot said his office had reached out to the police department’s public integrity unit after Mr Vess’ mother made a complaint.

The police department said that it would provide the video footage but never did, and prosecutors admit they forgot to follow up.

“I take responsibility for the failure to timely and properly investigate the allegations,” added Mr Creuzot.

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