A Madison County family is questioning local sheriff's deputies' actions after a mother claimed her son was put in a choke hold by a deputy.
According to Laurie Bruck, her son Darshae Bruck, 18, made a post on social media about harming himself and added that he was also going to therapy on that same post.
Sheriff's deputies received a 911 call for a welfare check Monday evening, according to Sheriff Mike Coyle.
When deputies arrived, Darshae Bruck was asleep inside. Laurie Bruck answered the door and complied with deputies' request to wake her son up, she said.
The mother said Darshae Bruck went to the door, and deputies said they would take him to Eastern State Hospital after confirming he made the post referencing self harm. Darshae Bruck said he was not going to go to Eastern State. Bruck's mother said her son, whom she says suffers from bipolar disorder, then put up his arm in front of his chest and said, "Don't touch me."
Bruck's dad then said he was going to go talk to Darshae Bruck.
"He took maybe five steps," his mother said. His dad was standing there talking to him, when deputies grabbed his arm and said they were taking him to Eastern State.
After that, deputies took him to the ground.
The mother said at that point, deputies put her son in a choke hold and Darshae Bruck then allegedly bit the deputy.
It wasn't until Darshae Bruck bit that deputy that he was under arrest.
"He was never trying to escape. He was trying to breathe," Laurie Bruck said.
In a video of the incident Laurie Bruck posted on social media, which she gave The Register permission to reference, someone told deputies Darshae Bruck couldn't breathe.
One deputy is heard saying in the video, "If he can talk, he can breathe."
"Every time that he would calm down, the officer (who choked him), came back and got him riled up," Laurie Bruck said.
Darshae Bruck was examined by ambulance personnel before he was taken to the Madison County Detention Center, Coyle said. He is charged with third-degree assault (police officer, communicable liquid) and resisting arrest, according to online jail records.
"He should not have been arrested in the first place, because he did not do anything wrong," Laurie Bruck said. "… They should have let him go to his counselor."
Coyle said his office has not received an official complaint.
“I’m not disputing what they said,” he added about the family's comments.
He didn't know about the video until called by The Register, but said he arrived at the scene close to its resolution. He said he doesn't know "both sides of the story" and declined to comment on the incident itself. He added that he would look into it.
"I just wish that everybody could get along and understand," Coyle said. "We were called there for a purpose. … We have a job to do. We don’t intend to harm anybody."
Laurie Bruck said she is wanting to file a complaint, but is unsure how to do so. She has contacted the American Civil Liberties Union, but no one had been able to take her call as of Monday evening.
This article has been updated to clarify information and to make corrections.