By Alex Horton
Militants in southern Afghanistan had already salted the earth with bombs when Sgt. Dominic Esquibel led his Marines through Sangin. On his final patrol, the ground ruptured under his feet in an explosion of light and blood.
The blast tore at his right arm and shattered parts of his right leg and foot.
“I thank God it was me,” he told author Bing West from a hospital bed in 2011, “rather than one of my men.”
Doctors were barely able to salvage Esquibel’s foot. He wears a carbon-fiber exoskeleton brace to help him walk and run.
And that vulnerable spot is where Esquibel said a U.S. Park Ranger gave swift kicks during an arrest over a parking space for the disabled at Sequoia National Park in 2012, prompting a lawsuit claiming assault and false arrest.
The federal government settled for $250,000 in March to avoid a trial scheduled for last week. A charge of failing to follow a lawful order was dropped in 2014.