Day 15 in the trial of two former Hamilton paramedics charged with failing to provide the necessities of life will see one of two twin brothers take to the stand in a Hamilton courthouse.
Mustafa Ameer will recall how he rushed to the aid of Yosif Al-Hasnawi after he was shot near a strip mall on Sanford Avenue and Main Street East in 2017.
Ameer was one of four boys who briefly left a nearby mosque with Al-Hasnawi moments before the shooting.
Testifying at the trial of Dale King in 2019, Ameer told a court he rushed to hold Al-Hasnawi after he fell to the ground.
The teen is expected to recall the events of Dec. 2, 2017, as a crown witness on Tuesday.
Christopher Marchant, 32, and Steven Snively, 55, are charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life in relation to the treatment of Hasnawi.
Paramedics said ‘They were good’
Testimony at the trial on Monday included firefighter Mark Vanspronsen who drove the Hamilton Fire Department (HFD) truck that delivered three firefighters to the scene in 2017.
Vanspronsen, a 19-year-vet with the HFD, told the court that the crew responded to a call about a patient who had been shot by a BB gun.
Upon arrival, Vanspronsen said the crew grabbed a large medical bag and a defibrillator from the truck and walked toward the scene. A Hamilton police officer seconds later held his hand up and told the trio that everything was OK.
The firefighter told the court he saw the victim on the ground not moving and holding his “tummy” area.
“When we first made our progression towards the police officer, we could hear him moaning a bit,” Vanspronsen said.
“And then (the police officer) told us to step back and then we would move back far enough that we hadn’t couldn’t hear what was going on after that.”
As per city protocol, the firefighters remained at the scene until Marchant and Snively arrived. They departed when one of the two paramedics dismissed them.
“The paramedics got out of the ambulance. The heavier gentleman, he walked up to the patient,” Vanspronsen said.
“At that time, we moved a little closer to see if they needed assistance. He looked at the wound and said that they were good.”
The firefighter told the court he was not close enough to hear any of the conversations between police, paramedics and bystanders. He also said he only saw a little bit of blood around the navel area when he first saw Al-Hasnawi.
In cross-examination, Vanspronsen revealed the firefighter’s call was only 11 minutes in total from the time they left their station to when they returned.
Emergency response unit arrives
Also at the scene on the night of the shooting was Const. David Spencer, part of Hamilton police’s emergency response unit.
Spencer told the court he received information just before 9 p.m. over the radio that there was a shooting involving a pellet gun. He made his way to the scene with his partner.
The two response members waited on the scene until a K-9 unit arrived, according to Spencer. The officer spent a short time near the victim, but could not recall for how long.
“My specific memory of being over there was the discussion of whether it was a firearm or a pellet gun,” Spencer said.
“That was more coming from bystanders.”
After a search around a perimeter with a canine unit, Spencer said only a police presence remained at the scene when he returned.
Former paramedic chief finishes five days of testimony
A former deputy chief with the Hamilton Paramedic Service (HPS) finished up five days as a witness for the Crown on Monday.
Hal Klassen first took a seat in Hamilton’s superior court on Main Street East last Tuesday morning and returned to the chair every day before he was dismissed on Monday afternoon.
Klassen was called upon by the Crown as an expert witness and predominately answered yes or no questions for prosecutors and the defence pertaining to paramedic training, procedures, equipment, clinical care, and standard protocols.
Questioning of Klassen bounced around from the function of a regional base hospital to how and when a patient can be restrained to how Hamilton’s Skyhawk branded vehicle tracking software works.
Some inquiries by counsel over the five days also focussed specifically on the decision to send Al-Hasnawi to St. Joseph’s Hospital, the use of restraints when the victim was on the ambulance, and the alleged delay in reaching an emergency room.
Justice Harrison Arrell is expected to hear from two more witnesses this week, as well as Dr. Elena Bulakhtina, who performed Al-Hasnawi’s autopsy, and a manager from the dispatch centre.