New details emerge in Vancouver airport death
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Friday, October 26, 2007 6:28PM EDT
CTV has obtained new details that shed light on the minutes and hours leading up to the taser death of a man at Vancouver International Airport.
Police are still looking into how and why Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski died, and how he spent the 10 hours between his arrival in Canada and his death in what is a secure area of the airport.
CTV British Columbia has obtained an airport log that shows a four-minute lag between when Dziekanski lost consciousness and when B.C. ambulance crew members were called, and an almost 15-minute gap between the time he passed out after being tasered, and when the ambulance crew arrived on the scene.
Here is the timeline of events:
- 1:21 a.m. -- Vancouver International Airport calls the RCMP, reporting a 50-year-old male is throwing suitcases and appears to be intoxicated;
- 1:26 -- The passenger has now thrown a chair through a window;
- 1:27 -- Two security guards show up. One minute later, the RCMP arrives;
- 1:30 - A male has been tasered and is unconscious but breathing. Ambulance is called;
- 1:31 -- Security guards help restrain the man, who is now described as a suspect;
- 1:32 -- The log reports that Dziekanski has lost consciousness.
- 1:36 - A Code 3 is issued to paramedics, indicating someone is unconscious.
- 1:44 - Paramedics arrive, 12 minutes after Dziekanski, 40, first slipped into unconsciousness.
Sources told CTV B.C. that a Code 3 call should have been issued to paramedics immediately after the individual became unconscious. However, it wasn't until four minutes later that the Code 3 went out.
It also reports that an on-site emergency responder had told the team at the airport to hold off on immediately upgrading the status of the call.
The new information has prompted members of Vancouver's Polish community to call for changes to the way new immigrants are handled at the airport.
About 100 people gathered at Vancouver's Polish Community Centre for a press conference Thursday. They were there to show their support for Zofia Cisowski, the mother of Dziekanski.
Many said they were upset that such force was used on an unarmed man who couldn't speak English. Others wanted to know why no translator was called to help Dziekanski. Some in the audience also shared their stories about bad treatment they allegedly received at the airport.
Cisowski said she had longed to be with her son for years. She said they were hoping to go into business together.
For years, she would attend school to learn English during the day and at night she would work. She even worked two jobs to save up money so he could come to Canada.
"I was waiting and I was waiting for him," she said at the news conference.
"Our plan was, I would like to open my own small business, and he would help me. But now I lost my only son."
Earlier this week, B.C.'s chief coroner announced an inquest into the death. A preliminary autopsy found there were no signs of trauma or disease that may have led to the death. Officials are still waiting for toxicology tests.
Poland's consul general in Canada told Cisowski and the Polish community that his office will keep tabs on the investigation.
With reports from CTV British Columbia