Army combat vet tased, pepper-sprayed, and beat by police after call to VA crisis line

A US Army vet from Arizona has filed a notice of claim with the Gilbert Police Department accusing them of using excessive force. The notice – which means he could sue at any time -reveals that Kyle Cardenas began suffering from delusions back in September and was showing  “intense signs of PTSD.”

His family called the VA crisis hotline and asked for a crisis team to come to their home, but instead they got the cops, even though they specifically asked to leave them out of it.

The police told Kyle he was being detained after he tried to have his dog attack them and slammed the door in their face.

According to the complaint, Cardenas initially struggled with the officers before retreating to his room. It went on to say: “The police charged into this bedroom … and attempted to restrain Kyle again. During the melee, the officers Tased Kyle at least seven times, sprayed OC spray directly into Kyle’s face, struck Kyle multiple times with their batons, punched Kyle in the face with closed fists, kicked and kneed Kyle in the thighs and legs, and ordered one of the K-9 unit dogs to attack and bite Kyle.”

The fight triggered an episode, apparently, and Kyle was rushed to the hospital.

There, he was reportedly given an anti-psychotic drug commonly used to sedate ‘agitated patients.’  At one point he stopped breathing and turned blue. Cardenas was revived and put into a medically induced coma for four days, local media reported.

Cardenas is charging police with assault and battery, excessive force, false arrest, and negligent hiring, training, and supervision. He’s seeking $20 million to settle the case. Scott Zwillinger, Cardenas’s attorney, said if the police department declines to settle, his client is “prepared to proceed with litigation to recover not only his damages, but to raise awareness of what is occurring on a daily basis throughout the United States relating to the rising numbers of veterans being shot and killed by the police.”

Cardenas, a US Army combat veteran with the 82nd Airborne Division, served two tours of duty in Iraq and was honorably discharged in 2006. His PTSD stems directly from his deployments to Mosul, Iraq, his attorney told the Phoenix New Times.

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  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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