In 2012, a disabled Marine veteran was visiting the Sequoia National Park in California, where he says a National Park Service ranger used excessive force against him over his use of a handicapped parking spot.
Dominic Esquibel said that despite displaying an appropriate handicapped marker, a park ranger didn’t believe he was disabled. Esquibel wears brace on his leg for an injury from a 2011 bomb explosion in Afghanistan.
The end of the confrontation allegedly ended with the parking ranger kicking the Marine veteran’s injured leg and handcuffing him.
“I’m combat wounded, and you’re kicking my salvaged limb,” Esquibel said he told the ranger and his nearby partner, according to the Washington Post.
A charge against Esquibel for failing to follow a lawful order was dropped, but he filed a lawsuit against the federal government over the excessive force that could result in the loss of his leg.
On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that Esquibel won a $250,000 settlement from the federal government in March, as it was trying to avoid a trial.
Esquibel told the Post that he was “grateful” the ordeal was over, but that he plans to have the foot totally amputated, calling the injured foot a “total loss."
Esquibel was awarded the Navy Cross for braving machine gun fire to rescue two Marines and carrying out the body of another Marine during operation Phantom Fury, also known as the Second Battle of Fallujah, in Iraq in 2004.
Esquibel declined the award, citing personal reasons. His lawyer, Butch Wagner, told the Post that his client “didn’t feel right about the award” and that other Marines would have done the same for him.
It was in Afghanistanin 2011 on a final patrol in Sangin when his life-changing explosion happened, according to the Post.
The Fresno Bee first reported the settlement.
It is unclear if any of the park staff were disciplined over the incident, according the the Post.