Many men and women across our country have tough jobs, but not all of them leave the worker broken and bloody. That’s exactly how one West Virginia woman was left after she found herself in a desperate fight for her life — all because she was simply trying to do her job.
Kristen Richmond, a West Virginia sheriff’s deputy, ended up in the fight of her life when she was brutally beaten after responding to what should have been a fairly routine call. The Brooke County officer shared photos of her bloodied and badly battered face to Facebook as she gave her account of events. But, perhaps more shocking than the images is the disturbing reason she was left with a broken nose, fractured sinus, busted glasses, and lacerations to her hands, face, and head, in addition to many bumps and bruises.
According to the Wheeling News-Register, Richmond was one of two deputies injured while responding to a call about a Bethany College student who was bleeding and throwing things out of a third-floor window at the college dormitory, early one fateful Friday morning. When Richmond arrived, she found 21-year-old Brandon Lamar Jackson, of Decatur, Georgia, bleeding and not wearing any clothing.
According to a statement from Capt. Darin Pizer, the deputy tried to approach Jackson, who is a student employee at the school, to ask him what happened, but Jackson had a blank stare, was having trouble speaking, and appeared to be hallucinating. The cops soon realized the man was “gooned up” on an unknown substance.
“The deputy attempted to detain the subject, who pulled away, attempted to strike the deputy in the face then began to flee on foot,” Pizer explained. “The deputy then began to pursue after the subject. A K-9 was deployed, the subject then curled up in a corner of the exterior of one of the buildings.” But, things were far from over.
Although she was able to get one of Jackson’s arms in handcuffs, according to the Capt. Pizer’s statement, Jackson pulled away again. This is when things went from bad to worse. “All the K-9 bites, punches, knees, and baton strikes did not deter this guy. He wasn’t there. The drug had consumed every part of him,” Richmond, who is the handler of K-9 Officer Dakota, explained in a post on Facebook later that night, identifying herself and telling her side of the story.
“The subject was told he was under arrest, he then began to strike the deputy in the head and face numerous times as the struggle ensued,” the police statement said. According to Richmond, her communication with other deputies had been cut off, leaving her to fight Jackson, who she described as 5 feet, 11 inches tall and a “collegiate male athlete, who was gooned up on an unknown drug” alone. “I managed to stay in the fight and maintain some control despite exchanging punches and knees with the subject,” she said.
“It was me and him for about five minutes,” she recalled. “My glasses were shattered and knocked off my face, none of my radio transmissions got out, and a ton of equipment was stripped from my vest and duty belt.” Richmond deployed her dog again as two other deputies arrived. Jackson allegedly bit one of the other officers and fought until the team finally got him in handcuffs.
“While fighting with this guy, he reached for my duty weapon,” Richmond wrote in her post. “Given the circumstances, deadly force was warranted and it was probably getting close to my last resort. Thankfully, it did not reach that point.”
Richmond said she wasn’t posting to Facebook for “the glory,” but rather to remind other officers to be prepared for situations like the one she encountered. “I took my bloody uniform, duty belt, and gear inside with me and dropped it on the floor,” Richmond wrote. “I took my tired K-9 partner to her crate so she could get some much-deserved rest. I went upstairs, undressed, turned on the hot water in the shower, stepped in and washed his and my blood off my body. I watched it circle the drain not knowing whose exactly it was. Not a lot of people know what it’s like to do that,” she continued.
“No, we don’t get into fights like these every day, but they do happen … along with situations that are far worse,” she furthered. “Please take a few moments to consider everything that we go through before jumping to conclusions based off slanted media and facts. At the end of the day, we are exactly like all of you ‘normal’ people. We just want to go home after work.”
Although Richmond hopes her post will remind others of the dangers cops endure, I hope it reminds the public of something else: The dangers of drug use. Brandon Lamar Jackson, who was taken to a local hospital and transferred to a facility in Pittsburgh, had his entire life ahead of him, as well as the privilege of receiving a college education. Instead of enjoying all life has to offer, he will, hopefully, spend time behind bars, where he belongs after making the devastating decision to consume drugs.
His choice put an officer’s life at risk, and he should suffer the appropriate consequences. Drug use isn’t a victimless crime. It affects everyone around the user — sometimes, in unbelievably brutal ways, as Kristen Richmond found out. Hopefully, anyone thinking of using will have her images burned into their brain. Do you really want to be the guy who does this to a woman, all for a high?