Not even having graduated from the police academy, three Oregon police recruits ganged up on another recruit and body slammed him, leaving him with bleeding in the brain and three broken bones, including a spinal fracture.
The life-threatening injury was so severe that police recruit Dustyn Matlock had no recollection of how he ended up injured, leaving the three other recruits to explain what had taken place. However, their accounts of the incident which took place on October 17 did not match the extent of Matlock’s injuries.
Despite the severity of his injuries, the other cops refused to call paramedics, telling him to just “take ibuprofen” and “sleep it off”.
Nevertheless, the three recruits were allowed to graduate from the academy on November 1 and begin working as cops. Austin Daugherty and Dylan Hansen were hired by the Oregon State Police and Joseph DeLance was hired by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.
The cops were also cleared of any criminal wrongdoing by the Marion County District Attorney’s Office in February but they all resigned this month during an internal affairs investigation.
Matlock, meanwhile, has filed a notice of intent to sue Oregon’s public safety training agency, state police and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, according to the Register-Guard. The 28-year-old man was unable to graduate from the academy and is working desk duty at the Portland Police Department, hoping to finish the academy once he recovers.
The incident took place inside a dorm room after the four cops went out for dinner and drinks, according to MSN.
The three claimed that while practicing defensive “clinchwork”, Delance grabbed Matlock in a bear hug and lifted him slightly off the ground, let go and that Matlock somehow then fell over and hit the ground. All three deny that Delance slammed Matlock in any way.
Matlock said he believes he was knocked unconscious.
“The next thing he did recall was waking up on the floor in extreme pain and Delance telling him ‘you’re really tough,’ ‘you’re ok,’ and that ‘you can tell everyone in Portland you’re tough’,” Kemmy said.
Matlock remembered one of the recruits looking terrified. He got up and promptly spit blood in the sink.
He felt unsteady on his feet, had tremors and voiced fear that he had broken his arm and he might have a brain bleed.
“Despite the obvious severity of Matlock’s injuries, no one in the group called for medical attention or notified anyone in authority that Matlock was in distress,” Kemmy said.
The recruits reluctantly transported Matlock to the hospital but only after he would not stop convulsing.
The doctor was “extremely skeptical” that Matlock’s injuries could have been caused by being dropped to the floor because they were more consistent with blunt force trauma seen in a bicycle and car crashes.
A second doctor said the severe injuries “were consistent with being ‘body slammed’ to the ground,” the report said.
DeLance, Daugherty and Hansen maintained that Matlock was dropped and fell to the ground and downplayed the medical symptoms he was experiencing by claiming to investigators that they thought he was faking it, cold and drunk.
Hansen refused to take a polygraph test, telling investigators, “it’s just going to be a waste of your time and money to do it, because I don’t lie.” Daugherty “repeatedly” said he would take the test, but then his attorney interceded to stop any more questioning.
Daugherty is the stepson of Deschutes County Sheriff L. Shane Nelson and son of Bend Police Officer Lisa Nelson.