Hamilton police defend actions during meeting with man with seizure in city center Pipa News

Hamilton police defend actions during meeting with man with seizure in city center

Police defend their actions after meeting a Canadian Tire employee who suffered a seizure in a central Hamilton car park on Sunday.

Service spokespersons say what the officers did was “appropriate” as attempts were made to subdue 27-year-old Marcus Charles outside his workplace, captured on video.

The footage shows two officers trying to stop a screaming Charles in broad daylight on a sidewalk on Main Street East and West Avenue South.

During the scuffle, an officer can be seen deploying a taser-like weapon, which apparently gave Charles an electric shock.

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“I screamed for my life. I was, I was terrified,” Charles told Global News.

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“I didn’t think we had called the people over here to taser me. I thought it was for help. I thought it was purely for help.”

Witnesses said paramedics tried to restrain Charles before police were called to the scene.

Charles says the experience left him with injuries to his wrist, arms and face.

His partner Chantelle Chevrier says she arrived just as the case was over and believes the officers simply weren’t trained to deal with the medical episode.

“I don’t think the police should be called in a medical emergency,” Chevrier said.

“They never get it right.”

In a statement to Global News, Hamilton police said an officer suffered a concussion as a result of what happened and claimed the “agents’ actions were appropriate for the situation they were facing.”

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Charles says police and paramedics, like his fellow store workers, knew he had epilepsy and insists he wasn’t a threat to anyone.

“I thought they were trained professionals and they knew what seizures and epilepsy and all these things were,” he said.

“I thought they were all prepared for this.”

Cynthia Milburn, CEO of Epilepsy South Central Ontario, shared Charles’ characterization of the incident, suggesting that none of what happened was his fault.

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Her concern is with both paramedics and police who are apparently unable to deal with the outage.

“The seizure will run its course. Paramedics are trained for this,” Milburn explained.

“I believe the police have had some training on this, and they were even told it was an attack. So… this kind of power was really disturbing for me to see and to know that this is happening out there.”

Charles says his employer and colleagues supported him, but says their call to paramedics, which led to a call to the police, was very expensive.

He now faces three criminal charges for assaulting the officers on the scene.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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