60-year-old man says Ogden police shattered his hip after he sought help for medical issue

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OGDEN, Utah -- Sixty-year-old Harold Torbett was driving from his home in Alabama to take a new job in Seattle in February when he started feeling sick, according to his attorney Jennifer Zeleny.

"He began to feel extremely ill, believing he was suffering from food poisoning and felt his health deteriorating very rapidly," Zeleny said.

At that point, he found himself in Ogden.

"He entered the police station to seek emergency medical assistance for the diabetic crisis he was experiencing," Zeleny said.

According to court documents, he was carrying an unloaded 22-caliber handgun and immediately told the clerk in the lobby.

Three officers eventually came out to speak with Torbett. The interaction was caught on grainy surveillance video. Torbett says the officers were behaving in a confrontational and accusatory manner.

When he told them he felt ill, one officer reportedly said, "Do I look like I take people to the hospital?"

When Torbett tried to leave, he claims that same officer threw him to the ground and shattered his hip.

"Mr. Torbett was seeking help for a diabetic crisis, and his interaction left him with his femur broken in three places and leaving in an ambulance," Zeleny said.

Torbett's attorney says these officers used an excessive amount of force and violated Torbett's Second Amendment rights.

The lawsuit also calls for Ogden police to use body cameras because of the poor quality of the surveillance video.

"We're in the unfortunate situation of where we have very poor quality video, and allegations have already been raised by Ogden City with regards to Mr. Torbett's conduct in the situation," Zeleny said.

FOX 13 News reached out to the attorney representing Ogden and its police department, and we’re told they’re reviewing the case and have no comment at this time.

51 comments

    • miles(dave)

      he should not have to leave his gun in the car. however id like to know if the hospital found that he was really going through a medical condition. you have to admit this could have gone either way this could have gone very wrong for the cops. or maybe the cops were really out of line.

      • bob

        Yes, he was having a diabetic episode and was near lapsing into a coma. He was confused and disoriented.

        Been there, done that. But fortunately I wasn’t assaulted as a result.

      • bob

        Having experienced that condition I know that any claims that he was “belligerent”, or “confrontational”, are lies. He was barely conscious, and barely staying on his feet. A few more minutes and he would have been in a coma.

      • Trace

        If you take a weapon into a police station, you’re asking for an issue. But then again, I have COMMON SENSE!

    • bob

      Open carry is legal. He was violently attacked for perfectly legal behavior while seeking medical help from emergency personnel. There is no excuse for it.

      The gun you need to worry about is the one pointed at you. A gun on the hip is not a threat. ANYONE could be carrying a concealed firearm, anywhere around you, at any time……and many of them probably are. You are surrounded by guns every day.

      The lowlifes who did this need to be fired. They are dangerous to the public.

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