A horrific treatment of tourist vacationing in Wyoming headed to Cody, Wyoming. Appears to have been a mistaken identity case, but that is not where the story ends. Even the Park County Sheriff’s Office from Cody Wyoming was involved in the alleged mistreatment of a family that was from Independence, Missouri and were passing through Yellowstone Park and were headed East bound on the North Fork Highway, headed to Cody, Wyoming, where they had intended to spend several days.
As Brett Hemry was driving with his family towards Cody, he noticed that two Park Service vehicles were following him as he was headed towards Cody on the north Fork Highway, headed east-bound.
Brett Hemry decided to pull over at a location that would allow for the Two Park Ranger vehicles to pass on. But when Mr. Brett Hemry pulled into the Newton Creek Campground the Park Ranger vehicles suddenly parked strategically, that would block the Hemry vehicle from moving forward or backwards.
Suddenly, the two Park Rangers jumped out of their vehicles with their service weapons drawn, pointing their deadly weapons at the whole entire Hemry family, including the minor child. The rangers would not let Brett Hemry nor his family get out of the vehicle, instead, they held them at gun point, imprisoned in their own car, because the Park Rangers threatened to shoot Brett Hemry on multiple occasions as they held them at gun point for 30 minutes if he got out of his car or his family.
Finally, three Park County Sheriff’s Deputies from Cody, Wyoming, joined the illegal debacle and they, in their haste and miscalculation of the persons identity, pointed their deadly service weapons at the Hemry family, also including at the minor child—as if the child was a deadly threat to the Officers as well.
After a lot of yelling back and forth between the Park Rangers and the Park County Sheriff Deputies directed at the Hemry family, including the minor child, both Mr. and Mrs Hemry were forcibly removed from the vehicle, handcuffed, and placed into separate patrol vehicles.
The Hemry family now had been detained for about one hour and 30 minutes. Mean while the child was still being held at gunpoint by a Park County Sheriff Deputy.
After much unintelligent conversation between the various LEOs and dispatch, they were informed by Dispatch that they had detained the wrong individual and his family and that they needed to release them at once.
Mr Brett Hemry and his wife, Genalyn Hemry and their minor child were released to go on their way. A Park County Sheriff, Deputy told Brett Hemry and his wife, that a wanted murder suspect was being sought and because the Hemry’s family did not have any connection to the suspect, the family was free to go.,
The visibly shaken, terrified, dumbfounded Hemry family quickly left in their vehicle.
Not once did the Park County Sheriff Department apologize for the misidentification, nor any further explanation as to the illegal detainment of the Hemry family, nor for pointing their service weapons at a minor child.
Not once did the Park County deputies even lift a finger to check and see if the minor child was ok. The child was crying, terrified and fear for his/her own life and the life of his/her own parents who were being held unlawfully at gun point also.
A lawsuit was filed by the Hemry family through their lawyer, attorney Robert T. Moxley from Cheyenne Wyoming.
A civil action seeking money damages against the federal officers—state officers, both in their individual capacities, for constitutional torts committed in the scope and course of their official duties.
The Brett Hemry family is seeking monetary damages, both punitive and compensatory, against all defendants and their attorney fee under 42 United States Code 1988.
The federal law officers are being sued in their individual capacities under the Bivens v. Six unknown named agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 1971 and under the Constitution of the United States.
The state law enforcement officers being the Park County sheriff deputies are being sued in their individual capacities under the Civil Rights Act, 42 United States Code 1983.
Because the incident happened in Wyoming and the defendants live in Wyoming, the proper venue in this case us under 28 U.S.C. 1391, b-2.
One of the Park County Sheriff Deputies being sued is Brett M. TIilery and works for the Park County Sheriff’s Office. Another Park County Sheriff Deputy being sued is Robert R. Cooke II.
Bradley M Ross was one of the National Park Rangers involved, and is being sued.
Mehran Azizian another National Park Ranger is being sued.
A summary of what happened to bring every one up to speed, On July 20, 2017, LEOs were on high alert in Park County and Teton County Wyoming and including other local and federal Law enforcement for a fugitive named Gerald Michael Bullinger about 65-year-old six feet one inch in height and about 240 lbs, with gray hair was wanted for a triple alleged murder in the neighboring state of Idaho.
It was a Yellowstone National Park Ranger who was the individual who misled all the other law enforcement officials by drafting up a false report that the Park ranger circulated stating that the murder suspect by the name of Bullinger was traveling in a white Toyota passenger car with plates from Missouri and bearing the number DN9F6M.
This happened about 8:30am. At 9:52am Cody Park County dispatched two patrol cars—Unit 1113 which was driven by Cooke including another unit.
At about 10:14 and 10:15 dispatch notified the Park County responding Sheriff Deputies that the murder suspects car had pulled over in the Newton Creek Campground and that two Park Rangers were following until back up arrived being the Park County Sheriff Deputies.
The LEO’s yelled at the top of the lungs through a loud speaker while holding their service weapons at the heads of the Hemry family, including the minor child.
Park County Patrol unit #1112 and #1113 both arrived at the scene, which was about 10:21 and 10:30am
What is really strange is that all the Law enforcement officers had been briefed about the alleged, murder suspect and all of the LEOs had viewed the mug shot photo of the murder suspect Bullinger and Bullinger clearly had no resemblance to Brett Hemry, nor his family. The incident ended at about 10:52pm, according to the Park County Dispatch records. This was when the family was told to go on their way.
The Yellowstone National Park Rangers and the Park County Sheriff Deputies all had adequate time for deliberations among them selves, to determine that they had the wrong man and that there was no danger to the public or them.
Furthermore, all the Park Rangers and the Park County Deputies forced an illegal detention and never afforded the Hemry family an opportunity to identify themselves or communicate with the officers, yet the officers already knew by the license plate that they had the wrong individuals at gun point.
Never were the Hemry family informed to as why they were being held, nor were they told that they were not under arrest.
All the Rangers and the Park County deputies violated the Hemry family in such a gross, wanton manner.
All the LEOs violated the constitutional rights privileges of the Hemry family. They were deprived of their personal freedom and their constitutional rights by force, at gun point: with deadly threat of being killed and shot by the LEOs. The LEO’s directed such a menace and unreasonable duress upon the Hemry family that permanent injury and emotional scars will affect the Hemry minor child for his/her rest of his/her life.
The whole entire Brett Hemry family suffered fear, fright, terror, pain, suffering, humiliation, mental and emotional distress and anguish and loss of enjoyment of life and more than permanent damage to the minor child, who also had a gun point at his/her head by a Park County Deputy.
This Illegal seizure and detention by the Park County Sheriff Deputies was unreasonable time, and under unreasonable circumstances in the complete absence of reasonable suspicion or other constitutional justification.
The actions of the National Park Rangers and the Park County Sheriff Deputies, in the forced seizure of the Hemry family including the minor child, being held at gun point along with his/her parents, and then detained and handcuffed constitutes and illegal seizure and unlawful arrest of each of the Hemry family and is a clear violation of the 4th Amendment right to be secure in their persons, against unreasonable seizures of the person.
Using excessive force the Park County Deputies knowingly pointed firearms in the direction of another person constitutes the misdemeanor criminal offense of reckless endangering, under the Wyoming Statue 6-2-504 and that the act of holding the Hemry family at gunpoint for an extended period was objectively unreasonable and excessive under any circumstance and that pointing a deadly weapon at the Hemry family constituted using excessive force against the Hemry family thereby the Park County deputies and Park Rangers violated the Hemry families constitutional rights under the 4th and 14 Amendments of the United Stated Constitution.
It would appear, that Park County Wyoming Law enforcement need to fire several Park County Deputies, namely Robert R. Cooke and Brett M. Tillery and it would appear that the National Park Service needs to fire Bradley M. Ross and Mehran Azizian at the very least, including filing criminal charges against them.
This is not how Wyoming treats our tourists, But it does appear that these are truly bad cops, plain and simple. The case number is 21 CV136-J