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Sureshbhai Patel, a grandfather from India who was visiting his family in Madison, Alabama, ended up in the hospital with paralyzed limbs after he was arrested by police.

The incident happened on February 5, when Patel was walking in his son’s neighborhood. The 57-year-old arrived in the U.S. on Jan. 31 to help care for his grandson, who was born prematurely and suffered from a number of developmental delays. Police approached Patel after receiving 911 calls about a suspicious person looking into people’s garages.

The subsequent physical encounter left the grandfather incapacitated.

Chirag Patel claims his father was arrested because he wasn’t able to communicate with police.

Chirag Patel, told CNN Affiliate WHNT that his father tried to communicate with officers, telling them “No English. Indian,” when they approached. He also said his father gave police his address and pointed to his son’s house.

Madison Police agree that there was “a communication barrier,” between officers and the elder Patel.

The police statement also says Patel reached into his pocket while speaking with the officers.

“Officers attempted to pat the subject down and he attempted to pull away,” the statement reads.

That’s when officers forced Patel to the ground, leaving him with an injured neck and no feeling in his arms, the family says.

Patel will undergo spinal fusion surgery; he also had cervical fusion surgery the day after the incident. Patel was granted permanent resident status in 2012 and will reportedly remain in the U.S. while he recovers.

Police are currently investigating the arrest and the officers involved in the incident were placed on paid administrative leave.

On Thursday morning, the Indian government expressed their concerns regarding the investigation and urged the U.S. to look even further into the case.

Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Syed Akbarbuddin told Agence France Presse, “we expressed concern at what appears from media reports as the excessive use of force by police.”

He added that officials in New Delhi had already “requested expeditious investigations and sharing of investigations,” and urged the U.S. to take further action.

Chirag told reporters he’s devastated over his father’s injures and has questioned his desire to come to the States to fulfill “The American Dream.”


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