The family of Eric Cole has filed a lawsuit after he left wounded from a shooting, called 911 for help, and was ultimately run over and killed by Springfield, Ohio police, WLWT reports.
According to the lawsuit, Cole, 42, was fatally hit with a police SUV by Springfield police officer Amanda Rosales in June of 2021. The lawsuit also names dispatchers Erin Reynolds and Mary Herge, who spoke to Cole after he was shot in the shoulder during a domestic dispute and called 911 for help.
The suit, filed by civil rights attorney Ben Crump on behalf of the family, says the dispatchers recklessly failed to relay Cole's location to officers responding to the scene, despite the 42-year-old repeatedly telling them over the phone "I'm in the middle of the street."
Reynolds didn't use police radio to tell officers that Cole was lying in the middle of the street but instead relayed the information through the CAD (computer-aided dispatch) system, per the suit.
Dash camera footage shows that Cole's white shirt was illuminated by Rosales' headlights as she approached the scene, yet she still struck Cole with her police cruiser. He died three hours later due to blunt force trauma to the torso, according to court documents.
The lawsuit accuses Rosales of negligently failing to learn Cole was in the middle of the street from the CAD.
Springfield police and Clark County dispatchers also didn't inform responding EMS medics that Cole had been run over, preventing him from receiving life-saving medical assistance, the lawsuit alleges.
"Eric Cole leaves behind three children who will never see their father again because of the action and inaction of Springfield Police officers and Clark County dispatchers. If these defendants had performed their jobs as if lives were at stake, Eric might be here today," Crump said. "Instead, these individuals responded to Eric with reckless disregard for his life, which resulted in an SUV running him over — information that was not communicated to EMS. Eric gasped for air and said the all-too-familiar and tragic words, 'I can't breathe,' as life left his body."