Canada: 'Mob' outside coffee shop punched Abdi before arrest, witness says - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada'Mob' outside coffee shop punched Abdi before arrest, witness says

13:10  12 september  2019
13:10  12 september  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Abdirahman Abdi was being physically restrained by civilians before police showed up, a witness says . Abdi , 37, was pronounced dead Monday after what witnesses allege was a violent arrest by Ottawa police Abdi was outside on the sidewalk, being physically restrained by a group of patrons.

Some of them punched Abdi in the chest and arms, court heard, and Rousselle said Rousselle also told court he recognized Abdi from an earlier visit to the coffee shop weeks before . Court has heard that Abdi suffered a cardiac arrest at some point while lying handcuffed on the ground outside 55

'Mob' outside coffee shop punched Abdi before arrest, witness says © CBC Abdirahman Abdi was punched by an angry 'mob' of men outside this Bridgehead coffee shop minutes before his arrest by two Ottawa police officers, witness Matthew Rousselle testified Wednesday.

Customers who intervened to stop Abdirahman Abdi from assaulting women outside a Hintonburg coffee shop punched him several times in the head and chest before his violent arrest by Ottawa police officers, a witness told court Wednesday.

The witness was testifying at the trial of Ottawa police Const. Daniel Montsion, who has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in Abdi's death.

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Courtney said he saw Abdi pick up what looked like the lid of a garbage can before dropping it and disappearing from view, with Weir in pursuit. On Thursday, a witness testified that he called 911 when he saw Abdirahman Abdi thrusting himself against a woman who was attempting to park her

A witness told CBC News that patrons tried to restrain Abdi outside the coffee shop before police arrived. Officers then followed Abdi on foot to his apartment on nearby Hilda Street, where he was arrested . Witnesses said one officer beat Abdi with a baton and another punched him in the head

The Crown alleges the punches Montsion landed on Abdi's head on July 24, 2016, contributed to the Ottawa man's fatal heart attack.

Matthew Rousselle, an advanced care paramedic, was off duty that morning when he stopped by the Bridgehead on Wellington Street W. to grab a coffee. Inside, he noticed people gathered around a woman who was crying.

A 'mob mentality'

Rousselle testified that before he could order his drink, he heard someone yell, "He grabbed another woman!" and saw a group of about eight men charge outside. In his statement to the Special Investigations Unit, Rousselle later described the men as behaving with a "mob mentality."

Rousselle initially testified he saw some of the men punch Abdi in the head and chest, and said he ran outside and pulled one man off Abdi and escort the customer back inside.

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Meanwhile, outside the coffee shop , he said several men were trying to keep the man on site until police arrived. OCISO executive director Leslie Emory said people need to wait for the SIU investigation before rushing to judgement. But she said people in the immigrant refugee community

Police were called to a coffee shop on Sunday morning to respond to reports of a man groping female customers. In the minutes that followed, they located Abdi and he allegedly resisted arrest . There was a physical struggle before he was handcuffed and lost consciousness.

Under cross-examination, Rousselle later acknowledged the men may have pushed Abdi, not punched him.

Rousselle testified that Abdi was sweating "more than he probably should have been," and was breathing heavily. He said he'd seen Abdi at the coffee shop two weeks to a month earlier, and didn't notice him sweating at that time.

Abdi didn't seem injured after the confrontation outside the coffee shop, Rousselle said.

Montsion's lawyers called Rousselle to "offer further insight into Mr. Abdi's medical condition before he ever encountered our client or Const. Weir," defence counsel Solomon Friedman said in his opening statement Wednesday.

'Homicide by heart attack'

Shortly after that incident, Const. Dave Weir arrived and attempted to arrest Abdi, but Abdi fled toward his apartment building at 55 Hilda St. with Weir in pursuit. That's where Montsion joined the altercation and punched Abdi twice in the head.

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A witness told CBC News that patrons tried to restrain Abdi outside the coffee shop before police arrived. Police followed Abdi on foot to his apartment about 250 metres away on Hilda Street, where he was arrested . Witnesses said one officer beat Abdi with a baton and another punched him in the

Witnesses told CBC News that Abdi was restrained outside the coffee shop before police arrived but he wasn't arrested outside the store. Other witnesses described two officers beating him 250 metres away from the coffee shop outside the apartment building.

Montsion punched Abdi twice more in the head after the officers wrestled the man to the ground, where they managed to get him into handcuffs.

Abdi ultimately died of a heart attack, according to pathologist Christopher Milroy. During his testimony, Milroy explained that the heart attack may have been caused by the adrenaline, pain and fear he experienced during his arrest.

Milroy called it "homicide by heart attack."

But Milroy also said it's difficult to separate what happened during the arrest from the events that took place immediately before.

'Mob' outside coffee shop punched Abdi before arrest, witness says © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Const. Daniel Montsion, right, is on trial for manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in the 2016 death of 37-year-old Abdirahman Abdi, left.

Excited delirium

The defence alleges Abdi was suffering from excited delirium before officers arrived on scene.

That controversial diagnosis refers to a group of symptoms associated with extreme mental and physiological excitement, but is not recognized as a syndrome in the medical community, according to the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry.

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Abdi ran away as Weir attempted to arrest him and Weir chased him on foot to 55 Hilda St., an Weir tried again to arrest the unarmed Abdi in front of the building, but he didn’t comply, Perlmutter said . What happened at the coffee shop , however, “has no bearing on the Crown’s case in relation to the

Once outside the coffee shop , it appears Abdi headed northeast on Wellington Street West in the Abdi and an Ottawa police officer who had responded to 911 calls from the coffee shop were There has been no official word on how long the response took, but witnesses said it took about 15 minutes

An autopsy revealed Abdi also had a pre-existing heart condition.

Crown attorney Philip Perlmutter suggested it wouldn't be unusual for someone to be sweating or breathing heavily when confronted by an angry mob.

Rousselle is the only eyewitness the defence intends to call, according to their opening statement.

Monstion's lawyers also plan to recall forensic video expert Grant Fredericks to continue his testimony about the key video evidence of the altercation between Abdi and police. Fredericks believes the video isn't reliable when it comes to interpreting the speed of the action on screen or the force used by the officers.

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