Courts

Fired Dallas Paramedic Brad Cox, Who Kicked Mentally Ill Man in 2019, Loses License

Brad Cox apparently had red marks and swelling on his face from when Kyle Vess attacked him.
Brad Cox apparently had red marks and swelling on his face from when Kyle Vess attacked him. Dallas County Sheriff's Department
CORRECTION, Nov. 15: The original version of this story mistakenly stated Brad Cox's license was revoked. It was suspended, and he has appealed.

Things keep getting worse for Brad Cox, the former Dallas Fire-Rescue paramedic and trained mixed martial arts fighter who detained and kicked a mentally unwell man in the head several times during an August 2019 incident.

In late October, DFR fired Cox after videos of the incident became public. Now, Texas has temporarily suspended his license. Cox appealed the suspension on Friday but can’t practice until the DSHS commissioner makes a decision.

In the videos, which were captured by body camera footage and surveillance tapes, Cox kicks Kyle Vess in the head several times and throws a pair of punches at the man. Vess' family and his attorney have called for Cox to be arrested and charged, but the Dallas Police Department cleared the paramedic and the district attorney hasn't filed charges.

Vess has a mental illness similar to schizophrenia. Because of Vess’ mental illness, his family and attorneys think Cox should be charged for causing injury to a disabled person.

In a statement, DPD said, “The Dallas Police Department is currently reviewing the case. There are no updates at this time.” (Cox's attorney has declined to comment citing pending litigation.)

The incident took place on Aug. 2, 2019. DFR was responding to grass fires on the side of a service road in West Dallas when they came across Vess. They said he was starting the fires. Surveillance footage from a nearby business shows Cox stomping out a grass fire while Vess lay on the ground.

"Your attacks continued despite Dallas Police Department intervention requiring transport and treatment.” – Texas Department of State Health Services

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Then, the video shows Vess swing and miss, and then unsuccessfully attempt to throw something at Cox. Vess ends up on the ground, where Cox kicks him repeatedly, despite a DFR firefighter seemingly trying to stop him. Not all of the surveillance footage has been released, and it’s unclear whether it still exists, but Vess claims he was kicked in the head before ever trying to hit Cox.

Cox hovers over Vess when police arrive on the scene. He and others with DFR claim Vess tried to assault him. While police prepare to take Vess into custody, Vess begins to sit up, and that’s when Cox, surrounded by police and others with DFR, kicks him in the face. This was captured in police body camera footage and later released by the Observer.

For more than two years, Vess faced charges for allegedly assaulting Cox, a public servant. Then, after he filed a lawsuit against Cox and the video surfaced, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office finally dismissed those charges on Oct. 27.

Three days later, Cox was fired from the department.

Then, early this month, Cox received a notice from the Texas Department of State Health Services saying his paramedic license had been suspended. The notice was obtained by The Dallas Morning News.

“While employed with City of Dallas Fire-Rescue Department as an EMT-Paramedic, you, Brad Alan Cox, engaged in conduct that jeopardized the health and safety of a person and/or caused injury to a person," the notice read. "Specifically, you responded to a fire call during which you physically assaulted a person.”

The notice adds, “You aggressively punched the person with your fists to his head and body and kicked the person in the head and body with your leg. Your attacks continued despite Dallas Police Department intervention requiring transport and treatment.”

It concludes by saying his continued practice as a paramedic “creates an imminent danger to public health or safety.”
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Jacob Vaughn, a former Brookhaven College journalism student, has written for the Observer since 2018, first as clubs editor. More recently, he's been in the news section as a staff writer covering City Hall, the Dallas Police Department and whatever else editors throw his way.
Contact: Jacob Vaughn