James Bradford Nelson In wound up in the UC Davis Medical Center burn unit, near death with severe wounds on the upper half of his body, after an encounter with Sacramento area police.
The injuries reportedly occurred June 23 in a KFC parking lot when Citrus Heights police officers held him down on the hot pavement after receiving calls that he was acting erratically. It was about 100 degrees that afternoon and the temperature of the asphalt parking lot was reportedly close to 170 degrees, according to estimates by the National Weather Service.
Drop an egg on a scorching pavement and it begins frying at about 144 degrees, human skin "is instantly destroyed" at 162, according to the service.
Nelson remains in intensive care with burns on his torso, face and buttocks. He doesn't recall his encounter with police but his mother, Tarsha Benigno, described it as torture.
"He had a schizophrenic episode, and now he's fighting for his life," she said. "Even a dog doesn't deserve to be treated like this."
28-year old Nelson was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was
a teenager, according to his mother. Sadly, he has a long history of criminal behavior and numerous arrests.
"He's been caught up in a vicious cycle, in and out of the system," Benigno said. "It's terrible to worry every day about your child causing trouble because he is mentally ill."
Police acknowledge that they held a shirtless Nelson down on the hot pavement in the parking lot after he became "combative" but once they realized he was burned they poured water on him and called paramedics.
According to filmingcops, Nelson "has since undergone three skin graft operations and could need further surgery."
Upon release, he faces charges of attempted robbery of a man's wallet at the KFC, being under the influence of a controlled substance and resisting arrest.