An Iowa man with Parkinson’s Disease was assaulted by a SWAT team after false accusations were made against him, and now he is suing the police for excessive force.
According to reports, 52-year-old John Hytrek of Pottawattamie County was working outside of his shop on a tractor when a SWAT team suddenly stormed out of a van that pulled into his driveway. Hytrek alleges that the officers tackled him to the ground, slammed his face on a machine, and punched him repeatedly in the head and body. The officers even told him that a sniper was set up across the street.
As it turned out, Hytrek’s altercation with a relative earlier on had led to the incident; he had told the relative to leave his property, and out of anger, the person retaliated by calling the police and telling them Hytrek had been making threats. The accusations were serious enough to warrant the use of a SWAT team, and that is when the beating happened.
"They repeatedly were swinging to kill me, they repeatedly didn't let up, I did not resist them, nothing,” said Hytrek. "They could've came up to me and asked me what was going on, and they didn't."
Following the incident with the SWAT team, Hytrek was brought to a hospital to be treated for a broken orbital bone in his face, multiple lacerations, and a concussion. He was later brought to jail but wound up going back to the hospital because his injuries were not healing.
The charges against him were dropped, but now, Hytrek is suing the department for excessive force.
“Why was the swat team deployed and two why wasn't Mr. Hytrek provided a reasonable opportunity to surrender peaceably?” asked Hytrek’s attorney Tom Prickett, adding that an EMT worker caught cell phone video of the incident that proved wrongdoing on the part of the officers. “That [cell phone video] makes clear exactly what happened and the time at which it happened, instead of relying on people's recollections.”
A trial is currently set to take place in the fall, as Hytrek is suing for damages and medical bills in federal court.