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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pepper spray had no effect on man, inquest told

This testimony is all too sickeningly familiar to me.

"I've had time to digest what happened and the time frame is clearer after talking to other officers." - Constable Ronald Traub (Good of Const. Traub to ADMIT he had help "remembering" by "talking to other officers".)

Was James Foldi "fighting and aggressive" or was he, as I suspect, thrashing around violently in the ultimate fight for his very life after being tasered at least 7 times, and reportedly closer to 12 times??

May 28, 2009
KARENA WALTER, St. Catharine Standard

It took four Niagara Regional Police officers to apprehend James Foldi after he went on a wild run through Beamsville in the last hour of his life, jurors at a coroner’s inquest have heard.

Foldi was blasted twice with pepper spray, hit with a baton and Tasered at least seven times.

The last of the four officers who arrested 39-year-old Foldi that July 1, 2005 morning — and who were with him when he died — testified about the arrest Thursday in St. Catharines.

Jurors have heard that Foldi broke into three houses in the Village Park Drive and Crescent Avenue area around 2:30 a.m. and called “help me.” Residents said he appeared confused and out of touch with reality and left a trail of blood.

A pathologist testified earlier this week the cause of death was excited delirium, brought on by acute cocaine poisoning.

Const. Christopher Doyle testified Thursday he arrived at the scene outside a home and went up the driveway. He knew pepper spray had been deployed because it smelled and made him cough. He heard Const. Patrick Diver, already there with Sgt. Richard Ciszek, say, “Police, get down on the ground” and heard the firing of a Taser stun gun.

Doyle said he saw Foldi throw himself through a window into a garage. “Glass was shattering in every direction,” Doyle said.

Jurors have heard officers testify that inside the garage, Foldi began punching a car. Doyle said another officer pepper sprayed Foldi again, but it had no effect. Foldi continued making incoherent comments, yelling and screaming.

Const. Ronald Traub said that at one point Foldi bent down and started to bite the car’s mirror. He said officers were telling him to stop. “It was like he was looking through us, not at us,” Traub said, adding Foldi was agitated and his eyes were wide open.

Foldi then jumped backwards out the broken window, Traub said.

Outside, Foldi, who was 5-foot-11 and 243 pounds, was taken down to the ground on his back by officers, who said he continued to struggle.

Doyle testified Foldi grabbed Doyle’s right thigh in an attempt to pull himself up, so he used his baton to hit Foldi’s left forearm. He then rolled him on his side.

“He was continuing to struggle,” Doyle said. “He was thrashing around quite violently.”

At one point Foldi rolled onto his stomach and Doyle said Diver was able to handcuff a hand.

Traub said while Diver was holding one hand, Doyle was attempting to get Foldi’s other arm and Ciszek was trying to control the man’s legs.

“It appeared to me he was trying to raise his head and bite at Const. Diver and Const. Doyle,” Traub said. Traub said he put his right foot between Foldi’s shoulder blades to avoid the biting but the man was still kicking.

Traub said he heard a Taser once during the struggle on the ground. Doyle said he didn’t hear it at all.

But Ciszek testified on Wednesday he Tasered Foldi at least five times on the ground and twice when he was running.

Police eventually got both handcuffs on Foldi.

Traub testified Doyle tried to roll Foldi to his side and sit him up but when Foldi continued to fight and be aggressive, they put him back down on his side.

Shortly after the cuffs were on, police said Foldi stopped breathing.

Foldi’s family lawyer asked Traub why he told investigators five days after the incident that Foldi was placed on his side after he went limp, not before.

Traub said he’s had time to digest what happened and the time frame is clearer after talking to other officers.

Evidence in the inquest is expected to conclude today.


Anonymous said...

We've seen it and heard it all...check the list...410 dead after being tortured by taser..too bad..only one video. The only way that the RCMP and other tasering crazy police forces can ever redeem themselves is to turn on the company who has lead them over the cliff...by taking Taser International to court for lying and misrepresenting the taser and by leading them to believe the taser is non lethal. Police credibility contines to plunge.

Anonymous said...

Who employs these cops...Canada..or George Bush?