Finding your 16-year-old daughter dead after she pointed a gun at her head and killed herself with one bullet is horrific enough. But for Brooke Russell's heartbroken father, Kevin, things went from horrific to surreal when an ambulance showed up. Brooke was found by her dad and brother, Brant, shortly after she killed herself in a nearby park. At the time, she was unconscious but still alive and the family prayed she would have a chance. They loaded her in their car, called 911, and met an ambulance by a police station. When the ambulance arrived, Kevin and Brant were understandably hysterical and maybe not acting in the most calm and dignified way. That's when things got out of control.
To me, time was everything. I was going, "Let's go, get her to the hospital, hurry up, hurry up."
Kevin says the EMT then turned around to ask him what had happened, and Brooke fell off the gurney. Kevin was now understandably angry. He told KSPR:
I started screaming and said, "Do your f*cking job, get her to the hospital," and the EMT put his finger in my face and said, "Calm down, sir." I was screaming, "Please get her to the hospital." And right about that time a police officer ran up on the sidewalk and I saw Brant go down.
OMG, unbelievably, Brant had been pepper sprayed in the face. Then Kevin was thrown to the ground and threatened with a taser. He was then handcuffed to a bench.
Details here are unclear, but Brooke later died. Kevin and Brant are facing charges of assault, disturbing the peace, and obstruction.
EMTs need to be able to do their job, and if people get in their face, it's understandable that they'd react -- but pepper spraying? Arresting? Emergency personnel must be accustomed to finding people in all kinds of states of panic.
Since the father and brother didn't physically harm anyone and were just upset and yelling, charges seem extreme -- especially when they are already grieving. It's been six months since Brooke's death, and they are still facing these charges. I really hope that the EMTs take heart and forgive and forget.
Do you think arrests were justified?
Image via Mark Turnauckas/Flickr