JOPLIN, Mo. -- After being handcuffed to a bench while his daughter died, a man is now fighting three criminal charges for the events that took place the night his 16-year-old daughter killed herself.
On March 17, Brooke Russell shot herself. When her family found her, her father thought she might still have a fighting chance, but Brooke died and now he's the one fighting.
What happens now?
"That's a question I've asked myself a lot," Kevin Russell said.
What happens now that his daughter is gone, now that his family of four, is a family of three?
"I do things just to pass the time until I don't feel bad anymore."
Russell says those things shouldn't include lawyers and courtrooms; those things only make him feel worse.
"If you Google our names you see our arrest record, and I want that to go away, that's what I want," he said.
Russell and his son, Brant, are charged with three misdemeanors each for assault, disturbing the peace, and obstruction. The family found Brooke in a park near their house, unconscious from a single gunshot wound to the head. They loaded her in their car and met an ambulance near the police department.
"To me, time was everything. I was going, 'Let's go, get her to the hospital, hurry up, hurry up,'" Russell remembered saying to the EMT.
He claims the situation escalated when he says the EMT turned away from Brooke to him to ask what had happened. He says, had the EMT been turned toward Brooke, he would have seen her fall off the gurney.
"I started screaming and said, 'Do your f-ing job, get her to the hospital,' and the EMT put his finger in my face and said, 'Calm down, sir.' I was screaming, 'Please get her to the hospital.' And right about that time a police officer ran up on the sidewalk and I saw Brant go down."
Brant, 19, had taken a shot of pepper spray to the face.
"I was on the pavement, I couldn't breathe and another officer put a knee in my back and told me to get up and he said if I didn't get up he was going to Tase me," Brant said.
Russell was sprayed too and both men were taken to the jail. They were handcuffed to a bench. Three and a half hours later, when they were finally released, Russell learned Brooke had died.
"I had been thinking, 'They're going to save her, everything always works out, she's going to be okay,'" Russell said between tears.
It's been six months and he says life without Brooke is agony; so is life as a criminal.
"I didn't assault anybody, I didn't threaten anybody, I didn't obstruct justice."
That's why Russell says he's gone public. Joplin Police Chief Lane Roberts says he'd like to to go public, too, but he can't, not until the case works its way through the courts.
"What I'll tell you is that the conduct that's alleged is directly contradictory to our values, our mission statement, our code of ethics," the chief said. "Those are not the things we engage in."
He says the incident was immediately reviewed and the officer involved has not been reprimanded or corrected in any way.
"I just ask people to recognize that, until it's been adjudicated, the other side will not be revealed."
So what happens now? No matter what, Brooke is gone, and Russell will never stop thinking about her -- he wouldn't want to, but he'd give anything to stop thinking about where he was when she died.
"I would just like the charges to go away. I want the reports reported correctly. I know they're not going to do that but I hate that there's something in formal writing that says things that we did that we didn't do on the worst night of our life," Russell said.
Prosecutors offered Russell a deal: plead guilty to assault and take anger management classes, but he says that would be admitting he did something wrong, and he insists all he did was scream.
There is no probable cause statement because these are municipal charges. There is an incident report but it's not public record yet.