Of­fi­cers shaken by death

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - by Roanne John­son roanne. john­son@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

A PO­LICE­WOMAN first on the scene at a Bran­don unit where a man was al­legedly tasered up to 28 times knew An­to­nio Galeano had been in­volved in an al­ter­ca­tion with po­lice the pre­vi­ous day.

Con­sta­ble Ma­rina Cross told the Townsville court house in­quest into the death of the 48-year-old that she had first heard of the de­ceased man when she started her 10pm shift on June 12, 2009 at the Ayr po­lice sta­tion.

A co-worker, Con­sta­ble Dar­ren Smith, had re­counted to her an in­ci­dent he had with Galeano on June 10 af­ter it was re­ported that a male was walk­ing on the rail­way tracks at Bran­don.

‘ ‘ W h e n t h e y l o c a t e d ( M r Galeano) he dis­played sui­ci­dal, vi­o­lent and ag­gres­sive be­hav­iour,’’ Const Cross said.

Const Smith said in his ev­i­dence that Mr Galeano was found with no shirt, wear­ing a pair of stubby shorts and mut­ter­ing to him­self.

‘‘ He was very in­co­her­ent . . . he was not in a nor­mal state of mind,’’ Const Smith said.

Mr Galeano, who was taken to hos­pi­tal for men­tal health as­sess­ment and drug is­sues, was de­scribed as ‘‘ un­usu­ally strong’’ by Const Smith af­ter the of­fi­cer in­jured his shoul­der in the strug­gle to hand­cuff him.

Ayr po­lice next be­came aware of Mr Galeano when Const Cross re­ceived a call dur­ing her shift to at­tend a Green St ad­dress in re­la­tion to a male per­son caus­ing a dis­tur­bance around 2.30am.

A phone call was played to the court in which a po­lice op­er­a­tor said ‘‘ Do I have a s*** ty job for you . . . An­to­nio Galeano’’.

Const Cross replies ‘‘ Oh ex­cel­lent’’ and is told Mr Galeano is ‘ ‘ off his face’’ and ‘ ‘ run­ning around naked’’ af t er as­sault­ing a woman, San­dra Wynne, and smash­ing up her unit.

‘‘ I guess sar­casm was used . . . but I was more sur­prised t h a t w e h a d been given a job for the same male per­son, know­ing the be­hav­iour and de­meanour the pre­vi­ous day,’’ she said.

Const Cross said when she exp l a i n e d t h e j o b t o S e n i o r - Con­sta­ble Craig Myles, who was a l s o f i r s t o n t he s c e ne, he equipped him­self with a taser be­fore they left.

‘‘ He said he had sig­nif­i­cant deal­ings dur­ing his time at Ayr with Mr Galeano . . . some of an ag­gres­sive and vi­o­lent na­ture,’’ Const Cross said.

Mean­while, a po­lice­man who at­tended in the af­ter­math told of see­ing the two po­lice of­fi­cers ap­pear­ing shaken when Mr Galeano could not be re­vived.

Con­sta­ble Andrew McDow­ell, who was called as back-up to Ms Wynne’s unit at 3am, said he saw paramedics per­form CPR on a male lay­ing the ground – with blood all over his face – un­til there was no pulse.

He said Const Cross was in the kitchen at t he t i me l ook­ing visi bl y up­set and Sen-Const Myles was ob­served later stand­ing by a po­lice car look­ing down.

Const McDow­ell said he may have asked what hap­pened but could not re­call the re­sponse.

Const Smith, who also at­tended as back-up, said he also wit­nessed the same be­hav­iour from the pair.

‘‘ To my knowl­edge Sen-Const Myles and Const Cross were very quiet and ap­peared to be in shock . . . they were not mak­ing a lot of con­ver­sa­tion at all,’’ Const Smith said.

The in­quest re­sumes to­day.

Con­sta­ble Dar­ren Smith

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