Family calls for justice after Sumner County Sheriff's Office response to Mobile Crisis call

Family calls for justice after Sumner County Sheriff's Office response to Mobile Crisis call
Posted at 6:06 PM, Jul 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-18 19:36:03-04

GALLATIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — Finding the right dose of medication has been a struggle for Jonathan Sellars, according to his family.

"So, in a paranoid schizophrenia, your mind is going in a thousand different ways," said Jonathan's brother, Zachary Sellars. "You are stuck in the past."

Zachary said footage from an indoor camera showed Jonathan suffering from an episode, talking to people who aren't there. Jonathan's family blame the episode on a change in medication. So they called Mobile Crisis Services as they've done before.

The Sumner County Sheriff's Office responded. Zachary said law enforcement attempted to bring Jonathan to the hospital but things took a turn.

"At that time, whenever back-up came, they forced him and pulled him off the chair and handcuffed him," said Zachary.

Zachary said he witnessed Jonathan then being punched several times.

"There we are at the door and there at the end you'll see the EMS tells us to walk out of the house," said Zachary as he watched the video from his phone. "We weren't making him more paranoid. All these cops and him getting beat is what made him paranoid."

"So, we get to the hospital and the nurse calls and says he has a broken nose — his nose on his right side of his face — and he has multiple face fractures," said Zachary.

It's unclear whether the deputies received mental health crisis training, but Jonathan's family said something needs to be done.

"It's horrible; it's a horrible situation to know that this is family," said Zachary. "It's got to stop in the world. If this doesn't stop, then it's going to continue to happen."

Sumner County Sheriff Sonny Weatherford declined an interview but did say in an email: "I have assigned an investigator to look into this case as soon as I was notified. I have also been advised that the family has spoke with an attorney, therefore I cannot make a statement concerning this matter."

Officials with the Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services also said they are conducting a review of the incident.