MANDEL: Dying Hamilton teen deserved much more from paramedics

Article content

He couldn’t breathe.

Suffering a fatal gunshot wound to his stomach for coming to the aid of an elderly man, Yosif Al-Hasnawi’s only chance of survival lay with two Hamilton paramedics.

How cavalierly they squandered that responsibility.

Christopher Marchant and Steve Snively treated the 19-year-old Good Samaritan with neglect and disdain. Instead of the required “load and go” to the nearest trauma hospital just five minutes away, they took a leisurely 23 minutes before finally taking him — to a psychiatric hospital, in restraints.

He deserved so much more.

Now the former paramedics — fired in 2018 —  have been convicted of failing to provide the necessaries of life in the Dec. 2, 2017 death of the first-year Brock University student who hoped to be a doctor.

“The accused gave no plausible explanation as to why they concluded this was a psychiatric issue other than Yosif’s altered state and their belief this was a superficial wound caused by a BB gun while the facts before them dictated
otherwise,” said Superior Court Justice Harrison Arrell.


Story continues below

Article content

While they concluded Al-Hasnawi wasn’t suffering from a penetrating wound, he was dying of internal bleeding from a .22-calibre hollow-point bullet.

Al-Hasnawi “told the accused in English he could not breath; they had several witnesses telling them Yosif needed immediate hospital care and could not breathe,” Arrell said in his ruling. “They had no evidence to disregard the protocols that this was a worst-case scenario of a penetrating wound requiring an immediate load and go to a trauma hospital.”

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

The young man was at evening prayers at the Main Street East mosque with his father and brothers when he went outside for a break. When he spotted two men harassing an elderly victim across the street, he shouted at them to leave him alone.


Story continues below

Article content

For stepping in, one of the men sucker-punched Al-Haswani in the head and ran off. The teen gave chase but was then stopped in his tracks by a bullet to his stomach.

The admitted killer was acquitted of second-degree murder after he claimed self-defence. That verdict is now under appeal.

“To say this is a tragic case would be a gross understatement. A young and promising life was snuffed out because he was attempting to be a Good Samaritan,” Arrell said in his judgment.

But the paramedics dispatched to save him must also bear some responsibility for his death.

Was it some kind of racial profiling that rendered Marchant, 33, and Snively, 55, so unconcerned with their patient? Or did they throw their training to the wind because bystanders had mentioned a BB gun, and they became convinced Al-Hasnawi was faking?


Story continues below

Article content

Whatever the reason, there was no urgency in their care of the dying teen. Instead, witnesses said the paramedics even mocked Al-Hasnawi and accused him of giving an Oscar-worthy performance.

When they finally got around to moving him to the ambulance, the judge found they made several attempts using inappropriate and dangerous methods to lift him, including trying to yank him to his feet and walk him to the stretcher rather than using a backboard.

“I conclude these failures by the accused were not simple inadvertence, thoughtlessness or simple error in judgment but instead was a conscious decision to ignore the obvious evidence before them, their training, and the standards they were familiar with,” Arrell said.


Story continues below

Article content

  1. Murder victim Yosif Al-Hasnawi.

    MANDEL: Ex-Hamilton paramedic had mistaken belief dying Good Samaritan was shot by BB gun, lawyer says

  2. Murder victim Yosif Al-Hasnawi.

    Hamilton paramedics should have treated teen’s injury more seriously: Crown

  3. Hamilton Police released this image of a witness sought in the Dec. 2, 2017 murder of Yosif Al-Hasnawi.

    Key witness located in Hamilton Good Samaritan murder

“As a result of the failure of the accused to recognize the serious nature of Yosif’s injury and immediately transport him to a trauma hospital, (it) was objectively and reasonably foreseeable that they were risking his life or would likely cause permanent endangerment of his health.”

A sentencing hearing for Marchant and Snively is scheduled for October. The men could each face up to five years in prison.


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
On Key

Related Posts


Russtrat world

A diplomat instead of a child prodigy

MOSCOW, 16 Oct 2021, RUSSTRAT Institute.   Formally, the current crisis in Vienna lasted no more than a weekend. On Saturday, 35-year-old Chancellor Sebastian Kurz,