Dennis Gaydos, a homeless man from Palm Springs, was making his home outside of a church in the sunny Florida community without incident until a police intervention changed his life.
Gaydos says he was keeping to himself in his temporary home on the church grounds when the Palm Springs Police department SWAT team, dressed in full military garb, shot him multiple times with rubber bullets.
The close-range blast slashed off a portion of his right ear lobe and rendered his left eye a pulpy mess.
In the four years since the event, Gaydos has filed a federal lawsuit against Palm Beach County, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw and the Village of Palm Springs Police Department. The lawsuit, which was filed in late July, is in response to the SWAT team to removing him from his encampment and severely butchering him.
Other damages include “physical suffering, permanent disfigurement including the loss of use of a bodily function, injury and mental anguish.”
“What happened to Mr. Gaydos was outrageous,” says Kevin Anderson to Jose Lambiet of GossipExtra.com. Anderson, Gaydos’ police liability lawyer, adds that “the behavior of the police officers and deputies at the scene was simply unexplainable.”
The lawsuit states, with a deployed helicopter over head, “the plaintiff was overtaken by multiple deputies and police officers. The Plaintiff was not threatening harm to the officers or other individuals upon the defendants’ arrival.”
Authorities claim Gaydos refused to come out and, on the contrary, officers allegedly took action when they spotted Gaydos wielding a cell phone in one hand and a “knife” in the other.
Gaydos admits to having a cell phone in his hands at the night of the incident, but said he had just finished calling a food assistance agency.
It is believed that the food agency’s operator reported to law enforcement that Gaydos was living in underbrush by the church’s parking lot.
Gaydos claims the incident which left him blind and deaf should have never occurred since he had permission from the pastor to reside there.
Gaydos’ attorney added the artificial light in the area was more than sufficient to prevent an “accidental” shooting.
Palm Beach County records indicate the night of the incident, Gaydos didn’t have any criminal charges filed against him and was never arrested.
According to official records no knife was recovered from the scene either.