MCCURTAIN COUNTY, Okla. (KTAL/KMSS) – A woman filed a lawsuit against McCurtain County deputies and others, claiming the death of her husband was due to excessive force during his arrest.
According to a media release from Garrett Law, Barrick’s death is an element of the public records request made by the McCurtain County Gazette-News. That public records request is at the center of the firestorm in the county over an alleged recording that captured the sheriff and other elected officials talking about hiring hitmen to kill reporters, a return to indiscriminately lynching black people, and joking about a woman’s death as a result of a fire in the county.
Barbara Barrick filed a wrongful death suit against the McCurtain County Sheriff Kevin Clardy, the Board of County Commissioners of McCurtain County, and four men allegedly involved in his death. Barrick claims the board, and Clardy, is responsible for not preventing MCSO deputies from using excessive force in the death of her husband, 45-year-old Bobby Barrick.
Barrick’s widow seeks $2,000,000 and punitive damages against Deputies Mattew Kasbaum, Quentin Lee, Kevin Storey, and Game Warden Mark Hannah. Her suit claims the men used excessive force and applied pressure on her husband while on the ground, causing Bobby Barrick’s death.
The lawsuit claims that Deputies Matthew Kasbaum and Quentin Lee responded to Lori’s Corner Store and Deli in Eagletown, Okla., around 7:30 p.m. on March 13, 2022.
The investigative narrative states that contractors working on the building were fighting with Bobby Barrick. He reportedly broke the glass from the front door, ran into the highway, attempted to stop a semi-tractor, and jumped onto a woman’s car. They say the woman in the car dragged him back into the store parking lot, where contractors tied him up.
Kasbaum reported they found Barrick lying face down on the pavement his “wrist and feet
[and] his hands were turning purple from the tightness of the straps.”
While Kasbaum and Lee removed the restraints and detained him, the contractors threatened Barrick. Deputies put him in handcuffs and placed him in the back of Deputy Lee’s caged unit.
Game Warden Mark Hannah reportedly arrived on the scene after his neighbor alerted him to the fight at the corner store. Kasbaum requested Hannah attempt to locate the truck that dropped Barrick off but he could not find it.
Hannah reported that Barrick was yelling and rocking the deputy’s truck back and forth.
“Upon EMS arrival, Kasbaum and Lee asked me to assist them in getting [Barrick] out of the truck. Once Kasbaum opened the door, [Barrick] was yelling, “Help me! They are going to kill me!” stated Hannah.
Kasbaum reported that Barrick attempted to use his feet to kick out of the door, and he trapped Barrick’s feet using the door and his leg. He says that he pressed his upper body into Barrick’s, pushing him sideways into the floor of the truck, and had Barrick trapped in the door jam of the back seat. Lee corroborated his report that the struggle was due to Barrick, while handcuffed, attempting to exit the truck. EMT Kaytlynn Powers also corroborated Kasbaum’s account.
However, in his investigative narrative, Deputy Richard Williamson noted that one of the deputies and Warden Hannah “asked Barrick several times to leave the vehicle” in his report. EMT Tate Casanova also reported that law enforcement peacefully told him to exit the truck several times. Casanova says Barrick yelled for help and yelled to EMS at the scene that the deputies were trying to kill him before he was removed from the truck.
The suit says that both deputies had their body cameras on during these events, but “moments after the deputies began to get physical with Barrick, all cameras were turned off.”
Lee reported that he turned his off before removing Barrick from the truck, and Kasbaum’s video was reportedly disengaged by accident. He also says that Deputy Kevin Storey arrived on the scene and observed the deputies and Hannah struggling with Barrick but “did not engage his video in whole during the active resistance.”
The suit claims Kasbaum told the other officers to deactivate their cameras and then tased Barrick no fewer than four times while still handcuffed. It says that Kausbaum, Lee, Storey, and Hannah pulled Barrick out of the truck by his feet, and he fell face down on the parking lot. The four allegedly dragged Barrick away before Lee and Storey mounted Barrick’s back while Kasbaum and Hannah applied force to his lower extremities.
The men are accused of continuing to put body weight on Barrick’s torso and preventing him from being able to lie entirely in the prone position while placing him in leg restraints. The suit claims they forced Barrick’s face into the ground and continued to use neck restraint, restricting his ability to breathe. Barrick reportedly pleaded, “Please don’t kill me.”
EMT Candice Wyatt said Barrick stopped breathing while the officers were atop him and applying restraints. She reported that she could not find a pulse, and Barrick began to have a seizure.
Barrick was taken to McCurtain Memorial Hospital, then airlifted to Paris Regional Medical Center “for a higher level of care on mechanical ventilation post respiratory arrest and cardiac arrest, where he ultimately died.”