June 10, 2010
Robyn Ironside, The Courier-Mail
A MAN who died after being Tasered 28 times was not given breathing assistance by police because they could not find a mask and gloves, a coronial hearing has been told.
The pre-inquest hearing in Townsville before Deputy State Coroner Christine Clements heard that Antonio Carmelo Galeano, 39, died within 50 minutes of his partner calling police to her home at Brandon, near Ayr, on June 12 last year.
The hearing was told Galeano was naked and shouting threats when Senior Constable Craig Miles and Constable Melissa Cross went to the Green St address at 2.50am.
Believing Galeano was trying to climb through a tiny bathroom window, Sen-Constable Miles deployed his Taser from the outside of the house.
Galeano slumped to the floor and Sen-Constable Miles sent his partner into the house to restrain him.
With the Taser probes still in Galeano, Sen-Constable Miles fired three more circuits of up to 16 seconds when it looked like he was getting up.
"Each of those four activations occurred within a minute," counsel assisting the Coroner Stephen Keim told Townsville District Court.
Sen-Constable Miles then changed the Taser cartridge and went inside.
Analysis of the second cartridge has revealed it was fired 24 times over 5½ minutes, with each activation lasting five seconds.
Police have alleged Galeano tried to retrieve shards of glass but was eventually overcome and handcuffed.
Sandra Winn, who had been in a relationship with Galeano and who made the initial call to police, observed Galeano to be "black in the face" at this time, the hearing was told.
Although the police administered chest compressions, they did not provide breathing assistance because there was no mask or gloves in their first aid kit.
Galeano was pronounced dead 10 minutes after paramedics arrived.
Mr Keim said analysis of the Taser had found it was in good working order.
But it is yet to undergo an "electron microscopy" which will examine the extent to which each activation period was a complete circuit.
Outside the hearing, Ms Winn said she had not moved from the address, despite the traumatic events of last year.
"I sleep where he died," she said. "There are still burn marks from the Taser on the bathroom floor."
The coronial inquest has been tentatively set down for November 1.
As well as the circumstances of his death, the inquest will examine the treatment and assessment Galeano received at the Ayr and Townsville hospitals two days before the incident.
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Thursday, June 10, 2010
June 10, 2010