Canadian Tire worker claims assaulted by police amid standoff

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A Canadian Tire employee in Hamilton says he was assaulted by police earlier this week while suffering from a seizure.

“I thought I was going to die,” Marcus Charles told CTV News Toronto.

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Crescent-shaped bruises now run from his temples to his cheekbones, and the imprint of handcuffs is still raw around his wrists.

On Sunday, Charles said he was working at Canadian Tire in downtown Hamilton at Main Street and Victoria Avenue when he suffered a seizure.

He says he gets them once or twice every two months. He says the seizures last six or seven hours.

“I would wake up in the hospital with IVs asking what happened,” she said.

At this point, when Charles snapped back to reality, he said he was surrounded by four or five police officers. “I started to panic,” he said.

Video footage of the incident was captured by a Canadian Tire colleague and obtained by CTV News Toronto. In it, Charles was seen lying on the pavement. His body aches as the officers surround him and hold him as he screams again and again.

“I cry every time I watch the video,” Charles said.

Later, Charles said, he discovered he had been assaulted by police and woke up at a local hospital, where the barbs were removed from his body and released from the Taser.

When he recovered, a police officer handed him a piece of paper listing three charges: Assault Level 1 and two counts of Assault Peace Officer. “They said I couldn’t leave until I picked it up and signed it,” he said.

Marcus Charles can be seen above.

Hamilton Paramedical Services confirmed they received a call for medical assistance on Sunday, treating a man at the scene and transporting him to a local hospital for treatment.

Hamilton police spokesman David Thompson initially told CTV News Toronto that he could not discuss the nature of the call. However, after further review, Thompson said the paramedics were involved in a “dangerous, violent and volatile” situation.

“The paramedics immediately removed themselves from the situation to safety and in accordance with policy requested assistance from the Hamilton Police Service,” he said.

Police officers immediately responded to the scene and assisted paramedics in bringing the “violent situation” under control, Thompson said.

“Violence or threats of violence against paramedics is never acceptable and will always result in the arrival of the police to assist our paramedics,” he said.

In a statement received Tuesday afternoon, Hamilton police said they were called to Canadian Tire to assist an ambulance with a struggling patient.

“Upon arrival, officers encountered behavior that included physically assaulting two officers. We appreciate that the individual’s medical condition may have affected the unfolding of events,” police said in a statement. “Hamilton Police have obtained video of the entire incident and the officers’ actions were appropriate to the situation they were faced with.”

“For the safety of the individual, officers and paramedics, officers used a Conductive Energy Weapon (CEW) to control the situation.”

The contact left one officer with a concussion, police said. They confirmed that three charges have been laid in connection with the incident—three charges of assault against two officers and one paramedic.

Charles, however, said the incident makes him question calling for help again.

“It was the scariest call for help in my life,” she said.

“We need to know the difference between epilepsy and confusion and a person who doesn’t know what the situation is, and if someone is a threat, fighting back.”

Evelyn Myri, president of Hamilton’s Afro-Canadian Caribbean Association, said Charles’ partner called her for support after the incident.

“I’m deeply disturbed by this film, and I think all decent people, regardless of race or culture or background, will find it disturbing,” he said.

“I think the police should give us a good explanation. There is really no explanation for this kind of behavior.

Canadian Tire worker claims assaulted by police amid standoff

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Canadian Tire worker claims assaulted by police amid standoff

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Canadian Tire worker claims assaulted by police amid standoff

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