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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Criminal Justice Quote: John Hytrek: Another Victim of SWAT Excessive Force

     A rural northwest Iowa man who suffers from Parkinson's disease has filed a federal lawsuit claiming that he was brutally pummeled by a SWAT team after a relative made false harassment allegations against him. The events giving rise to the excessive force lawsuit occurred in August 2012….Instead of speaking with the retaliatory relative, the sheriff's department in Pottowattamie County, Iowa…sent close to a dozen members of its SWAT team to the home of John Hytrek.

     Hytrek, 52, was working on a tractor in his driveway when the heavily armed cops jumped out of a van. Hytrek had previously warned the relative, who has a prior conviction for uttering false statements, to leave his property. "They ran for me with machine guns," Hytrek [told a local TV reporter]. "And I look at them, and I'm like, 'What?'"

     According to the lawsuit, the horde of SWAT members tackled the 52-year-old Parkinson's sufferer. His face slammed on a tire machine. The police officers punched him in the head at least five times. "I did not resist them, nothing," Hytrek told the TV station. "They could've come up to me and asked me what was going on, and they didn't."

     The lawsuit also alleges that the SWAT team positioned a sniper across the street to monitor the situation in case [the 52-year-old] with a degenerative disorder…tried anything.... Hytrek suffered serious injuries as a result of the melee--so serious that the SWAT team had to send him to the hospital before he could go to jail. He had a fractured eye socket. He also received a concussion and multiple cuts….

     A judge dismissed the false charges against Hytrek for harassment and assault in November 2012….

Eric Owens, "Machine Gun-Toting SWAT Team Blindsides Man, Pummels Him," The Daily Caller, May 19, 2014

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