A paramedic fired after police body-camera video captured him kicking and punching a homeless man could soon be back on the job at Dallas Fire-Rescue after a judge ruled in his favor during a civil service hearing at city hall.
The judge ruled Brad Cox shouldn’t have been fired. Cox, a 19-year-veteran of the department, was demoted and will not earn back pay, said Jarred Davis, the Dallas Civil Service Department director and board secretary. A fire department spokesman would not say Monday whether Cox had begun the training needed to return to duty.
Police initially said Kyle Vess set fires along the Interstate 30 frontage road in West Dallas on Aug. 2, 2019. But a fire official said at the hearing the fire was not arson but was a fire code violation.Cox said Vess started the fire with a cigarette. Cox told officers on the scene that Vess hit him as he stomped out one of the fires. Cox punched or kicked Vess numerous times. Cox said during the hearing that Vess charged at him, kept getting up off the ground and made repeated attacks.
Neither Cox nor Vess were convicted of a crime.
Cox, who has a history of disciplinary problems, testified last week at the hearing he believes his use of force was justified because he feared for his life and acted to keep others safe. He said news media reports misconstrued what happened. Cox told the judge during the hearing that he “could not and would not have done anything differently.”
“I don’t ever leave the house wanting to fight anybody ever,” Cox said at the hearing. “I was put in a situation that I had no choice.”