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Dallas paramedic seen kicking homeless man on video reinstated

Dallas Fire-Rescue Paramedic Brad Cox won an appeal of his termination based on self-defense

By Bill Carey

DALLAS — A Dallas Fire-Rescue paramedic fired almost 2 years ago after a video of him kicking and punching a homeless man was released, has been reinstated after a city hearing.

Paramedic Brad Cox was seen in a 2021 video kicking and punching a homeless man, Kyle Vess, during a brush fire in 2019. Cox told police that he was attacked by the man and was defending himself, WFAA reported.

When police officers started taking Vess into custody, body-worn camera footage showed Cox telling Vess to get up. Vess moved toward Cox with his arm, and then Cox kicked him in the head and punched him as Vess got to his feet. 

In the weeks following the release of the video, Cox was fired and his license was suspended.


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In this episode of Inside EMS, our co-hosts talk about the biggest EMS news of the week, including an alleged assault by a Dallas paramedic after video surfaced of him kicking a homeless man

Cox was reinstated by an administrative law judge’s ruling but was demoted. He will not receive any lost wages for the time he was terminated. The city can appeal the decision.

Dallas Fire Fighters Association President Jim McDade said self-defense was the main point of Cox’s appeal.

“When he was terminated 2 years ago, I 100% did not agree with going down that route,” McDade said. “The media took a snippet of this incident and did not look at the totality of the situation. The question it raised amongst the department was, if you are put in a situation where you are attacked, what do you do to defend yourself?" 

Vess was charged with assaulting a public servant, but the charges were eventually dropped.