La Junta, CO — On December 7, 2015, police were dispatched after a man’s parents called them to report their son for being drunk and irrational. It would be the last day their son would ever walk.
After police arrested him without incident, Donovan Duran, a UFC fighter, was brought by La Junta police officers to a local hospital where things took a turn for the worse. When attempting to unload him from the police cruiser, Duran tried to put his handcuffs in front of him, sending cops into attack mode.
When seeing Duran with his handcuffs around his knees, the officers yanked him from the car and slammed him into the concrete — head first.
“I stopped! I stopped!” Duran moans as the officer then grabbed his neck.
“Get up!” an officer can be heard yelling as Duran lies in agony on the concrete in the parking lot outside the Arkansas Valley Medical Center.
But it was too late. When Officer Vince Fraker and his partner slammed Duran to the ground, they fractured his neck, leaving the UFC fighter paralyzed from the nipples down.
Fraker and his partner then dragged the motionless body of Duran into the hospital where he was placed in a wheelchair, slumped over and unresponsive.
Duran was never charged with a crime.
In April, a grand jury ruled that Fraker was responsible for Duran’s injuries. However, they stated in their ruling that even though Fraker caused the fractured neck, it “cannot be the basis of any criminal charges.”
Apparently, dropping a handcuffed man several feet while slamming his head into the concrete is fine and dandy.
This detainment by police was Duran’s third in only a few days. However, police were only responding to calls from Duran’s parents, and Duran was never charged during any of the arrests.
His parents say they had repeatedly called authorities because he was drinking vodka and acting paranoid. Duran was released the other two times, family members said, after police had explained there was no charge on which to hold him, according to the Denver Post.
Thanks to the efforts of his family members and their reliance on police force to solve their problems, they will never have to dial 9-1-1 again for Duran, as the aspiring 25-year-old UFC fighter is now permanently immobilized.
According to the Denver Post, Duran’s attorneys filed a federal lawsuit Monday in Denver against the city of La Junta and Fraker seeking unspecified damages for Duran’s injuries.
“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,” the lawsuit says.
The filing also adds: “Fraker’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.”