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Paralyzed with a broken neck: Aspiring MMA fighter permenantly disabled following violent arrest WARNING: DISTURBING FOOTAGE
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Ex-MMA fighter Donovan Duran was left permanently disabled when a La Junta police sergeant fractured his neck then folded his limp body on the sidewalk.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The horrific act was caught on another officer's body cam, where 25-year-old Duran's red and clearly damaged neck could be seen.
Duran was arrested outside his father's home on December 7, 2015 for being drunk and disorderly. The footage begins with Duran sitting in a police cruiser as an officer tells him to step out of the vehicle.
It appears the officer doesn't wait long before grabbing the half-naked man from the back seat. Duran's hands are cuffed behind his back and he tumbles forward on the street.
Duran turns his head just in time to land on the pavement with his shoulder and neck and is then forcefully flipped in a sideways somersault by officers who seem to be struggling with the frighteningly still man.
At one point, the officer wearing the body cam covers the lens and Donavan can be heard saying, "I stopped! I stopped!"
The officers lift a limp Duran and fold him in on himself on the sidewalk of the Arkansas Valley Medical Center, where an official report states he said, "Help me."
The officer then throws Duran into a wheelchair and shoves his torso against the chair's back - the body cam clearly showing Duran's head whipping back uncontrollably.
With one hand on the limp man's already bruising neck, the officer wheels him into a room and roughly handles him by the base of his neck.
It would be several hours before Duran's condition would be discovered.
The Denver Post reported Duran's side of the story.
He claimed the hospital staff refused to believe him when he complained of neck pain and the inability to feel his legs.
When one hospital staff member spoke to him, Duran said: "He picked me up real fast. He got me all the way up to my feet, and I remember him being behind me. He had me by my waist and he just let go. I was dead weight.
"It was a hard fall. I remember my legs being two separate directions - like noodles dropping. I was like a sack of potatoes."
Duran's father, Eddie Duran, admitted he had been forced to call police when his son was drunk and paranoid before but did not expect this call would result in assault.
"I think they just got so frustrated with dealing with my son over the span of the weekend that one of them just went off and speared him from behind."
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Thought he graphic footage and Duran's broken body is evidence of assault, neither of the officers involved face charges.
A grand jury in April wrote Duran's fractured neck, which left him paralyzed from his nipples down, "cannot be the basis of any criminal charges" then added the accident was "tragic."
Duran's attorneys filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the city of La Junta and sergeant Vince Fraker, the officer responsible for pulling him from the squad car and fracturing his neck.
The lawsuit states: "La Junta Police Department training of officers does not include proper training in responding to calls involving persons in crisis or with obvious mental health problems, including use of force policies and de-escalation strategies. ...
"Franker's use of excessive force as described above herein was outrageous and shocking to the conscience, in violation of Duran's substantive due process rights."
"They ruined my whole life," the young man stated. "I was very, very surprised with the outcome. I really believe in my heart those guys should pay for what they did. But it didn't happen that way, so I'll just leave it in God's hands."
Duran's attorney, Durant Davidson, stated: "The Colorado state criminal laws in question before the grand jury are entirely different than the federal laws providing for civil lawsuits against police officers for use of excessive force that causes injuries."
Bill Jackson, the head of La Junta's public safety department, spoke on Tuesday to report an internal investigation into the encounter remains to be concluded by an outside agency.
Meanwhile, Duran will never walk again. Whether his federal lawsuit will result in justice or another disappointing verdict remains to be seen.
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