Goes to show that you never never call the cops.
A Missouri man arrested during a scuffle with emergency workers who were attending to his suicidal daughter says he’s still fighting the charges six months later.
Kevin Russell said he and his son were handcuffed to a bench in a Joplin police station as his 16-year-old daughter, Brooke, died March 17 at a nearby hospital.
The pair was arrested during a heated argument with an EMT who was putting the bleeding teen into an ambulance. Emergency workers had met the family en route to a hospital after the teen’s mother, Julissa, found her daughter at a local park with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Kevin Russell, who was arrested with his son during an argument with emergency workers tending to his daughter after a suicide attempt, said he wants the charges against him dropped.
But just as the teen was being carted away, Russell told KSPR-TV, an emergency medical technician turned his back on the dying teen and she fell off a gurney.
“To me, time was everything,” Russell told the news station. “I was going, ‘Let’s go get her to the hospital! Hurry up! Hurry up!’”
Brooke’s 19-year-old brother, Brant, said he was pepper-sprayed and arrested by officers during a spat with emergency workers tending to his sister after a suicide attempt.
He says the emergency medical technician turned toward the frantic father to ask what happened, and the teen fell to the ground.
“I started screaming and said, ‘Do your f—ing job. Get her to the hospital,’” Russell recalled. “And the EMT put his finger in my face and said, ‘Calm down, sir.’”
The family said before the flare-up escalated, a police officer spritzed his 19-year-old son, Brant, with pepper spray and cuffed the teen on the ground.
Kevin Russell and his son were arrested after emergency workers let Brooke fall to the ground.
“I was on the pavement,” Brant Russell told the news station. “I couldn’t breathe and another officer put a knee in my back and told me to get up and he said if I didn’t get up, he was going to taze me.”
The father and son were hauled to a police station, where they had to wait more than three hours before they could find out the wounded teen’s fate.
Russell said he and his son were handcuffed to a bench in a police station as his 16-year-old daughter, Brooke, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to her head.
“I had been thinking, ‘They’re going to save her. Everything works out. She’s going to be okay,’” Kevin Russel said.
But once they were processed for three charges — assault, disturbing the peace and obstruction — and released, they learned that Brooke had died.
Kevin Russell said he and his son didn’t know Brooke had died until after they were charged and released from a police station.
Six months after her death, the father said he doesn’t want him or his son to have a criminal record accusing them of “things that we didn’t do on the worst night of our life.”
“I would just like the charges to go away,” he said.
But cops maintain that the arrest was justified and found no fault against the officers after an internal review of the arrest.
Joplin Police Chief Lane Roberts maintains the arrests were justified.
“What I’ll tell you is that the conduct that’s alleged is directly contradictory to our values, our mission statement, our code of ethics,” Joplin Police Chief Lane Roberts told the ABC affiliate.
Roberts said he couldn’t elaborate on any details of the case, as it’s still pending court action.
“I just ask people to recognize that, until it’s been adjudicated, the other side will not be revealed.”
Prosecutors offered a deal that would require Russell to plead guilty to assault and take anger management classes. But the father said he refuses to admit any guilt.
“I didn’t assault anybody, I didn’t threaten anybody (and) I didn’t obstruct justice,” he said. “If you Google our names, you see our arrest record. And I want that to go away. That’s what I want.”