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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Two pictures of Trevor Grimolfson emerge at inquiry

November 24, 2010
Alexandra Zabjek, Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON — Two portraits of Trevor Grimolfson emerged during a fatality inquiry into his death in provincial court on Tuesday.

A close friend described Grimolfson as a generous and popular man, who loved his children fiercely and was never violent.

A worker who encountered Grimolfson on the day he was Tasered several times by police said he met an agitated man who appeared high on drugs and couldn’t be reasoned with.

Melinda Parasynchuk told the fatality inquiry she had known Grimolfson for nine years. They had once dated and remained close friends at the time of the Oct. 29, 2008, incident, when Grimolfson was Tasered by police in a pawnshop on Stony Plain Road.

“He was very giving, he was like a year-round Santa Claus,” Parasynchuk said, noting Grimolfson especially liked to spoil children at Christmas.

She said Grimolfson’s own children were “his everything.”

Grimolfson, 38, was a talented tattoo artist and a well-known wrestling commentator who was “very, very funny,” said Parasynchuk, who broke down in tears at several points in her testimony.

“Trevor was someone easy to reason with, easy to talk to. I can’t imagine Trevor being violent.”

But Patrick Saunders told the fatality inquiry Grimolfson assaulted him in his tattoo shop that day, leaving him with a fractured cheek bone, three broken teeth, and bruises on his body.

Saunders said he had met Grimolfson the day before the incident, when Grimolfson offered him demolition work at his tattoo shop on Stony Plain Road. Grimolfson seemed like a normal, trustworthy person, he testified.

When Saunders arrived the next morning, he said Grimolfson was sweating profusely, jumping around, and that he uttered the nonsensical phrase, “Bruce Lee’s revenge, bullets are flying.”

When Saunders tried to leave the shop, he said Grimolfson struck him. Saunders fought back, but was hit repeatedly before he was able to leave.

He said he saw Grimolfson approach a group on Stony Plain Road before he entered a nearby pawnshop, breaking a glass door.

When the pawnshop owner and his father asked Grimolfson to leave, Saunders said the man appeared, “lost, dazed, and confused.”

He said Grimolfson threw a cup at the older man’s head and the situation worsened from there.

“You could have said a million things to calm him down, it wouldn’t have worked,” he said.

Saunders told the inquiry Grimolfson was in a “rage” when police arrived and that he charged at one of the officers.

At one point, when questioned by Beverly Grimolfson, who is acting as her own lawyer at her son’s fatality inquiry, Saunders said: “I’m really sorry for what happened with Trevor that day.”

A medical examiner has testified Grimolfson’s death was caused by excited delirium, brought on by multiple drug toxicity. Fatal levels of ecstasy and ketamine were found in his body after his death.

Beverly Grimolfson has said she believes her son would still be alive if police hadn’t deployed a Taser.

The inquiry continues.

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