As he tells it, Kyle Vess was walking down Lone Star Drive in West Dallas on Aug. 8, 2019. In the past, he had suffered a traumatic brain injury and still endures a mental disability, but Vess was minding his own business, his lawyer says.
Then, his day took a sudden turn for the worse. A Dallas Fire-Rescue employee named Brad Cox confronted Vess, accusing him of lighting a grass fire on the side of the road. Cox and other DFR employees detained Vess, waiting for the police to arrive.
“The body camera footage begins when the police arrive. Cox hovers over Vess, staring at him down on the ground as the police officers discuss what to do and other DFR employees stand nearby. Vess begins to flail on the ground,” the Observer reports. “Cox appears to twice tell Vess, ‘Don’t get up again.’ Vess started to sit up, and then Cox punts Vess in the right side of his face. Vess then stands up to confront Cox. His fists already clenched, Cox throws a series of punches at Vess. Two appear to land. Then, two Dallas Police officers who arrived on the scene shortly before the kick shock Vess with a Taser.”
In an interview with police at the hospital, Vess denied that he lit the fire or instigated the violence.
“He kicked me when I was down,” Vess said.