A cell phone video recently published online revealed the final moments when a drunk-in-public arrest turned fatal between Anthony Bruno, an off-duty firefighter who was celebrating after his wedding reception, and Officer Don Hubbard, who was working hotel security Dec. 1.
KCTV5 filed a Missouri Sunshine Law request and the Kansas City Police Department released the 180-page case file.
Bruno continued celebrating his wedding ceremony into the early morning in Kansas City. He got into an altercation with a taxi driver over his cab fare who had driven the heavily intoxicated Bruno, his bride, and a friend to a nearby hotel.
According to Stephanie Bruno, who was still wearing her wedding dress at the time of her husband’s death, said in her statement he struck the taxi driver multiple times after the driver threw the $20 Stephanie gave him for a cab fare back in her face. She also said the cab driver called her a derogatory noun.
Hubbard was working off-duty security at the hotel in uniform that night and responded to the altercation. Hubbard chased Bruno down the street and pinned Bruno to the pavement while attempting to secure him in handcuffs after what Hubbard said was a struggle that lasted “a couple minutes.” Bruno resisted, reversed the positions and began to unload punches to Hubbard’s face.
He then fired two shots of his service weapon to Bruno’s chest, killing him. (Below is the video taken by a bystander that was recently released… **WARNING THE VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC AND VIOLENT CONTENT**)
A grand jury agreed that Hubbard had no choice but to fire off his weapon as he was being assaulted. He was cleared of any charges on Feb. 14.
Hubbard was not assigned a Taser because he was working off duty.
According to Bruno’s autopsy listed in the case file, his blood-alcohol content level at the time of the incident was .21, almost three times the .08 legal limit.
Hubbard said he sustained a “broken eye socket, orbital lobe, fractured cheek bone, the bone in front of the eye is also fractured.” He also said he lost feeling in the left side of his face and had a four inch lump on the right side of the back of his eye.
Hubbard said the following in his official statement:
“…I was still trying to get his arms behind his back and he continued to pull away and resist me. At one point I was off his back and doing the frontal LVNR (Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint) on him to gain head control. At that point he put his arms out to his side as if he was surrendering. When I let up pressure he started resisting again trying to stand up with me holding on to him. That’s when I noticed two people filming nearby. I told those individuals that I was by myself and pleaded for them to call for help… When I looked up to ask for help the suspect said something to the effect of ‘you shouldn’t have hit me’ and then he somehow flipped me over onto my back and the subject began punching me on the left side of my face and head.
He was on top of me and I was in an extremely vulnerable position and I was exhausted from the struggle with the suspect. I don’t know how many times he struck me, but I started to black out and saw lines across my eyes. He continued to strike me and I started to lose consciousness and I believed the suspect was not going to stop hitting me until he killed me. I feared for my life and I drew my weapon, fired two shots center mass I believe on his left side because he was on top of me. At that point he fell off of me, I re-holstered and blacked out for a few seconds…”
—This story was written and compiled by Beau Tiongson. Additional sources hyperlinked in text. All rights reserved