Sec­ond ar­rest in death of Yosif Al-Has­nawi

Sus­pect at home of rel­a­tive in Hagersville

The Hamilton Spectator - - FRONT PAGE - MATTHEW VAN DONGEN

Hamil­ton po­lice have ar­rested a sec­ond-de­gree mur­der sus­pect in the shoot­ing death of Yosif Al-Has­nawi.

Det. Sgt. Steve Berez­iuk said a team of Hamil­ton and provin­cial po­lice ar­rested Dale Burn­ingsky King, 19, at the Hagersville home of a fe­male rel­a­tive about 4:30 p.m. Thurs­day.

That uniden­ti­fied 55-year-old woman was also ar­rested and faces an ac­ces­sory charge for al­legedly help­ing King evade cap­ture. King spent sev­eral days at large, de­spite a war­rant for his ar­rest on a sec­ond-de­gree mur­der charge.

James Mathe­son, 20, is also charged with ac­ces­sory af­ter the fact to mur­der.

Al-Has­nawi was shot last Satur­day af­ter try­ing to stop two men ha­rass­ing an older man on Main Street East, near the Al-Moustafa Is­lamic Cen­tre, where he had been tak­ing part in a re­li­gious cel­e­bra­tion. The 19-year-old as­pir­ing doc­tor has since been hailed as a

“Good Sa­mar­i­tan” and a hero by po­lice and com­mu­nity mem­bers.

Berez­iuk said he spoke to AlHas­nawi’s fam­ily Thurs­day night and they told him they were “very happy” to hear news of the ar­rest.

The homi­cide de­tec­tive also ex­pressed “a sense of re­lief ” King was in cus­tody, not­ing po­lice con­verged on his sus­pected hid­ing place on King Street West in Hagersville know­ing the hand­gun used in the shoot­ing was still miss­ing. The gun is still miss­ing, he said, but a search of the Hagersville home is un­der­way. King was un­armed and ar­rested with­out in­ci­dent Thurs­day.

Berez­iuk also said he has seen no ev­i­dence of po­lice “mis­con­duct” the night Al-Has­nawi was shot.

Wit­nesses have al­leged paramedics ac­cused the vic­tim of fak­ing his injuries at the shoot­ing scene.

Amin Al-Tahir, di­rec­tor at the mosque, told The Spec­ta­tor the am­bu­lance left the scene with­out sirens or flash­ing lights. “I think if they acted re­ally quickly, they can save his life.”

The al­le­ga­tions have spurred an in­ter­nal probe by Hamil­ton EMS and an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Min­istry of Health.

Hamil­ton para­medic Chief Mike San­der­son told a com­mit­tee meet­ing of coun­cil­lors Thurs­day he couldn’t speak pub­licly about the mat­ter with the in­de­pen­dent probe un­der­way. But coun­cil­lors said they were told min­istry in­ter­views of paramedics could be­gin next week.

Berez­iuk wouldn’t com­ment on paramedics’ con­duct, adding he hasn’t been asked to par­tic­i­pate in the min­istry probe. He did say his re­view of records sug­gests paramedics ar­rived at 9:01 p.m. and the am­bu­lance left with Al-Has­nawi at 9:39 p.m. He cau­tioned that those num­bers are “not de­fin­i­tive.”

Wit­nesses have ques­tioned the length of time it took to get Al-Has­nawi to hos­pi­tal, where he was pro­nounced dead around 10 p.m.

On­tario’s Spe­cial In­ves­ti­ga­tions Unit is “pur­su­ing pre­lim­i­nary in­quiries” to de­ter­mine whether there is a ba­sis for an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of po­lice con­duct. Berez­iuk said “should mis­con­duct be iden­ti­fied,” he’s con­fi­dent the “ap­pro­pri­ate in­ves­ti­ga­tion would be un­der­taken.”

“But I can tell you at this time I have not seen that,” he said. “Of­fi­cers were quick to ap­proach, they ren­dered first aid im­me­di­ately and upon am­bu­lances ar­riv­ing a short time later … that pa­tient was turned over to EMS per­son­nel.”

Berez­iuk said po­lice quickly placed Al-Has­nawi in “the re­cov­ery po­si­tion” — on his side — but added paramedics took over his care al­most im­me­di­ately.

Dale Burn­ingsky King, 19

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