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60-year-old man says Ogden police shattered his hip after he sought help for medical issue

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Posted at 5:51 PM, Apr 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-15 19:51:59-04

OGDEN, Utah -- Sixty-year-old Harold Torbett was driving from his home in Alabama to take a new job in Seattle in February when he started feeling sick, according to his attorney Jennifer Zeleny.

"He began to feel extremely ill, believing he was suffering from food poisoning and felt his health deteriorating very rapidly," Zeleny said.

At that point, he found himself in Ogden.

"He entered the police station to seek emergency medical assistance for the diabetic crisis he was experiencing," Zeleny said.

According to court documents, he was carrying an unloaded 22-caliber handgun and immediately told the clerk in the lobby.

Three officers eventually came out to speak with Torbett. The interaction was caught on grainy surveillance video. Torbett says the officers were behaving in a confrontational and accusatory manner.

When he told them he felt ill, one officer reportedly said, "Do I look like I take people to the hospital?"

When Torbett tried to leave, he claims that same officer threw him to the ground and shattered his hip.

"Mr. Torbett was seeking help for a diabetic crisis, and his interaction left him with his femur broken in three places and leaving in an ambulance," Zeleny said.

Torbett's attorney says these officers used an excessive amount of force and violated Torbett's Second Amendment rights.

The lawsuit also calls for Ogden police to use body cameras because of the poor quality of the surveillance video.

"We're in the unfortunate situation of where we have very poor quality video, and allegations have already been raised by Ogden City with regards to Mr. Torbett's conduct in the situation," Zeleny said.

FOX 13 News reached out to the attorney representing Ogden and its police department, and we’re told they’re reviewing the case and have no comment at this time.