Lawyer says paramedic seen kicking homeless man should be charged with felony

Lawyer says paramedic seen kicking homeless man should be charged with felony
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A homeless man's attorney said a paramedic who repeatedly kicked his client should be arrested and face felony charges. 

Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot said he did not plan to bring charges against Brad Cox, a Dallas Fire-Rescue paramedic, who repeatedly kicked Kyle Vess, a homeless man, because of the statute of limitations to prosecute him, The Dallas Morning News reported.

However, George Milner III, Vess's lawyer, disagreed. Milner argued that Cox should face the felony charge of injury to a disabled person, adding that Vess's schizophrenia diagnosis qualified him as a disabled person in Texas. The charge proposed by Milner has a five-year statute of limitations, according to the Morning News.

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Creuzot also dismissed charges against Vess for assault against a public servant because of Vess's lifelong mental health condition, the newspaper added. 

Creuzot noted that he believed Vess was having a mental health crisis when he encountered the paramedic. 

“I’m blessed to be alive,” Vess said in his first time speaking publicly about the incident since it happened in August 2019, per the Morning News.

“We understand that there’s a lot of attention on this case but we are going to go with what the facts of the case are and not be influenced from outside pressure,” Dallas Police Chief Eddie García said of the case, according to the Morning News.

Surveillance footage from a nearby business showed Cox kicking Vess at least nine times in 2019.

The Morning News reported that Cox kicked Vess both before police officers arrived and at least once more when the officers arrived, according to body camera footage from the officers.

Cox told police Vess had been lighting small grass fires while firefighters worked to extinguish a larger one.

The paramedic was placed on paid administrative leave after the incident, and he argued that he acted in self-defense during the incident with Vess. 

The Hill has reached out to Milner, Dallas Fire-Rescue and the Dallas County district attorney's office for more information.