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Federal agents shoot and paralyze man, family suing for $50 million

Posted at 6:20 PM, Sep 18, 2023

PAYETTE NATIONAL FOREST — Brooks Roberts and his family on the morning of May 19, 2023 were approached by two men looking for a jump start for their truck. These men, however, were actually federal agents seeking to arrest the Roberts after several encounters between the Bureau of Land Management and the family.

Roberts is now suing the United States Forest Service. The $50 million dollar lawsuit is for personal injuries after federal agents shot Roberts seven times.

In a tort claim from Wrest Collective, the office representing Roberts, The two officers in plain clothing and in an unmarked vehicle, approached the family's RV in Payette National Forest which brought Roberts's brother Timber out to assist with the jump start. The Forest Service agents identified as Noah Rupel and Erik Franke then tackled Timber to the ground and called for his brother.

Brooks then rolled his wheelchair to assist his brother wielding a .22 caliber revolver. Agents proceeded to fire 11 times toward him, hitting and incapacitating the 39-year-old.

"The operation was both dangerous and exploited this family's kindness. It was sending plain-clothed officers in to ask for a jump start that kicked this whole thing off and led to this tragedy of my client being shot and paralyzed as a result," said Ritchie Eppink, Lawyer representing Brooks Roberts.

Eppink says the reason behind the operation was for a number of misdemeanor charges against Roberts and his family but none of which gives right for the altercation.

"How the federal government justify that? I don't know. That would be a question for them, said Eppink. "Because what they did was wrong, and the law recognizes that use of excessive force like this is wrong and you can sue for that."

The Forest Service said that they have no comment at this time.