COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA — A man says that while he was working on his tractor in his driveway, a van pulled up and a dozen men with rifles piled out and assaulted him. As they bashed his head in, breaking bones in his face, he believed they were there to kill him. It was later determined that police had attacked a completely innocent man due to a false police report, drawing questions about why police acted so brutally against a man who did not resist and made no threats.
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The violence befell upon John Hytrek one day in August 2012 while he was working on a tractor at his shop. Without warning, Mr. Hytrek heard a van screeching up to his shop. When he looked up, roughly 12 men were sprinting towards him with their rifles drawn.
“They ran for me with machine guns,” recalled Mr. Hytrek to KMTV. “And I looked at them, and I’m like, what!?”
Hytrek was completely blindsided and had no idea what was going on. The trespassers tackled him to the ground, driving his face into a piece of steel equipment. Hytrek then says he was struck in the head multiple times.
“Five times,” said Hytrek to the local news station. “I think it was boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.” He demonstrated the blows coming from multiple directions.
He was struck so hard that assailants actually shattered the lenses in his glasses.
“I was minding my own business, you know, and they came in for the kill,” Hytrek said.
It was evident at this point that the violent group was employed by the government. These well-armed, highly aggressive men were deputies from the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office.
Hytrek says he did nothing to resist. That did not stop him from becoming a bloody, mangled mess.
“They repeatedly were swinging to kill me, they repeatedly didn’t let up, I did not resist them, nothing,” Hytrek explained. “They could’ve came up to me and asked me what was going on, and they didn’t.”
Hytrek says that a police sniper was perched in the distance during the ambush.
The deputies shackled him and took him to jail. He was charged with assault and harassment; serious charges against a man who had done nothing wrong.
Hytrek, 52, suffers from Parkinson’s Disease and was badly injured by the assault; so much so that he had to be hospitalized at least twice. He suffered a broken orbital bone in his face, a concussion, and multiple abrasions and bruises.
Police tried to justify their use of force against Hytrek because he was working with a hammer when they ambushed him. But even a deputy’s deposition stated that Hytrek never attempted to use it as a weapon, KMTV reported.
It took 3 months for the government to finally drop the bogus charges against Mr. Hytrek. A cell phone video allegedly backed up Hytrek’s account that he did not resist.
In fact, it was finally admitted that he did absolutely nothing wrong. He had been the victim of “swatting” — a nefarious tactic in which a person generates a false police report in hopes that the government will go after someone else. And in Police State USA, the government responses can be quite brutal.
It turned out that one of Hytrek’s relatives had retaliated against him for previously requesting that person leave his property. That person, who had previously made false police reports, told police that Hytrek had made “terroristic threats,” according to KMTV.
Hytrek is now filing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the brutal Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office.
It does not bode well when the government can’t perform a simple investigation without beating people up before they have acquired any facts whatsoever.