Ryan Owens, 32, filed a lawsuit yesterday against the Metro Nashville Police Department, after he was arrested during an ambulance ride on the way to the hospital, and then diverted to jail, instead of being given medical treatment for his injuries.
In May of last year, Ryan says he was out with co-workers downtown, when a female in the group was accosted by an unknown male, a small scuffle broke out, and Owens ended up with injuries to his face. NFD Medic 2 responded to the scene, and Owens was placed in the back of the ambulance, and they began the trip to Centennial Medical Center so he could be treated for his injuries.
According to police, at some point during the short ride from Demonbreum to Centennial, Ryan Owens unbuckled himself from the stretcher, removed his shoe from his foot, and hit EMT2 Marisol Delao-Mota in the face with his shoe.
The ambulance stopped and called for police assistance, at which point Owens was removed from the ambulance, and taken into custody by Officer Brian Birch. Birch is the same officer that was reinstated by the MNPD after he was initially decommissioned after being caught on video threatening to shoot a suspect in the face. According to Owens, Officer Birch refused to get him proper medical treatment, and he was driven to the jail intake, where he was booked, and where he says his repeated requests for medical attention were ignored.
Owens was eventually able to bond out, and seek medical treatment. In addition to other minor injuries and a major infection caused by the injury, he says his jaw was broken, and had to be wired shut for over 6 weeks as part of the treatment – an injury that went untreated and without adequate relief for days due to being diverted from the hospital.
Even though the officer charged him with simple misdemeanor assault, the case was bound over to the Grand Jury, and that’s where the charge was upgraded to felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The deadly weapon, being his shoe. In court on May 31st, the prosecution agreed to ‘retire’ the charge, and not prosecute Owens for it.
In the lawsuit, Ryan Owens is suing for:
“Personal injuries and medical expenses caused by the defendant’s negligence on May 21, 2017, by arresting me during my transport by ambulance to the hospital with a broken jaw, and then jailing me without providing me proper medical attention for the injury for which I was being transported.”