Opelousas, LA — John Coleman suffers from mental illness and on the night of October 30, 2019, he was having a break down and was in need of help. He was not violent and willingly went to the hospital. However, the fact that he was innocent and in need of medical help did not stop officer Tyron Andrepont from carrying out a sadistic act of torture which was subsequently captured on video.
The incident began around 11:30 p.m. after Coleman's parents called for an ambulance to bring their son to the hospital to get help. When police and paramedics arrived, body camera footage shows Coleman was timid but non-threatening and compliant.
"He's mental. He has been in crisis for three days," John's mother, Flora Coleman said, adding that her then 20-year-old son Jonah had seen his psychiatrist days before and had been taking all of his medication.
"He was scared of everything," she told KATC in an interview this week. "Even the shower, he was scared of the water."
Flora can be heard in the video saying, "You are going to make me cry," to which Jonah replies, "I'm alright, momma."
Eventually, with the encouragement of his mother and father, Coleman got in the ambulance and went to the hospital.
Coleman's parents were relieved briefly knowing that their son would now get the help he needed. However, help was the last thing their 20-year-old son would get.
"We waited five hours and they wouldn't tell us anything," Flora said. "We kept checking and they would only say, 'We are getting him situated.'"
But they weren't getting him situated, officer Andrepont was punching Coleman in the face and strangling him.
Newly leaked video from the hospital shows Coleman refusing to go into the hospital room before he is brought to the ground, handcuffed and then walked into the room. Because Coleman was in the midst of a mental health crisis, he appeared confused and scared and kept attempting to sit up in the hospital bed which angered Andrepont.
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Without provocation, as two large men held down the handcuffed Coleman, Andrepont rears back and delivers a haymaker to Coleman's face before pouncing on top of him. Andrepont cannot contain his rage and the abuse last for ten minutes with Andrepont literally strangling Coleman for 1 minute and 13 seconds straight.
After waiting for hours in the waiting room, hospital officials finally came out and told Coleman's parents their son was in critical care.
"We went for an evaluation. Why is he in critical care when all we needed was paperwork?" she says.
After six hours, Jonah's mother says they were finally allowed to see him and they noticed he was limping and his face was swollen from the beating.
"Jonah added, 'Momma, they beat me,'" she states.
Flora explained Jonah had a busted lip and nose, black eyes, shoulder pain, and limped for two months after this incident.
"They tortured him," she said. "I feel they tortured and he was beaten and these are facilities that are supposed to take care of you, not hurt you."
Over a year later and Jonah still suffers from the trauma of that night. He is now in therapy according to Flora in an effort to treat his trauma.
After watching the video, Jonah's mother says, "I watched him try and get out the bed and I asked him why. He said, 'Mom I was trying to see for you guys. They were hurting me.'"
After Andrepont's superiors viewed the footage, the Opelousas police officer was arrested and charged with five counts of malfeasance in connection to this case.
Naturally, his attorney, Kevin Stockstill, who says they have seen the hospital video, maintains Andrepont followed proper procedure in this incident.
As you watch the horrid abuse in the footage below, imagine calling it "proper procedure."