Police in Citrus Heights, California threw a shirtless man to the ground on 167° F asphalt. Human skin is instantly destroyed at 162 degrees. Now James Nelson is in the hospital with serious burns all over his torso and face.
It all happened on June 23, 2017, in a KFC parking lot. The 28-year-old Nelson was having a schizophrenic episode when he began acting erratically inside a KFC restaurant. The video shows him jumping on counters and assaulting restaurant staff. 911 was called and Citrus Heights police officers arrived on scene to find Nelson in the KFC parking lot shirtless. Immediately the officers grabbed Nelson throwing him to the hot parking lot asphalt surface.
Once officers finally recognized that Nelson was being burned by the 167° F asphalt they poured water on him and called paramedics. But, Nelson had already sustained both 2nd and 3rd-degree burns.
Nelson lay in the hospital unconscious for three days, and when he finally did come to consciousness he still was in the hospital for weeks.
The department’s internal review of the case is ongoing, but Citrus Heights Police Chief Ron Lawrence did have this to say:
“Using force to make an arrest or overcome resistance is something police officers try and avoid, but it is necessary at times, particularly when suspects are violent or resist a lawful arrest. In this circumstance, I am glad James Nelson was taken into custody without anyone being injured as a result of his violent and erratic behavior.”
According to family, Nelson had gone two weeks without his schizophrenic medicine at the time of his arrest.