Ontario paramedics charged in 2017 death of Good Samaritan

Yosif Al-Hasnawi was shot after he tried to help an older man who was being accosted by two men outside his mosque.

Two Hamilton paramedics have been charged in connection with the death of a 19-year-old Good Samaritan who police say was killed while trying to stop an altercation on Dec. 2, 2017.

Yosif Al-Hasnawi, who was described by police as a brave young man trying to do the right thing, was shot after he tried to help an older man who was being accosted by two men outside his mosque.

Two men have been charged in the case, and a criminal investigation was launched in January by a neighbouring police force into how paramedics handled the incident.

Witnesses had alleged that paramedics took too long to treat and transport Al-Hasnawi to hospital and further alleged that they had accused the man of acting like his wounds were worse than they were.

The head of an OPSEU local which represents the paramedics confirmed late Wednesday that both have been charged with failing to provide the neccesaries of life

Mario Posteraro, president of OPSEU Local 256, said in an email that the paramedics “are intent on vigorously defending against these criminal charges” and that the union is confident the pair will be vindicated “when the totality of the evidence is provided.”

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Related: B.C. Paramedics to get their own union

Al-Hasnawi’s father and two brothers filed a civil lawsuit in January against Hamilton’s paramedics, alleging they failed to properly treat the man and claiming that their family suffered extreme emotional and mental distress.

The lawsuit also names Hamilton police, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and the two men charged in the shooting.

A statement of claim provided by the family’s lawyer alleges that paramedics and police were negligent and incompetent when they failed to administer first aid or promptly transfer him to hospital.

Allegations contained in the lawsuit seeking $10 million in compensation have not been proven in court.

The Canadian Press

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