HARRISBURG – Hampden Township and two of its police officers have denied allegations that they used unreasonable force in responding to a postal worker’s medical emergency, instead arguing that the amount of force used was appropriate to subdue a person under the influence of drugs and acting violently.
Anton Guirguis first filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on Oct. 11 versus Hampden Township, Officer Johannes Notz and Officer Bradley Corliss. All parties are of Hampden Township.
“On Oct. 27, 2021, Rachael David awoke to find her husband, Guirguis, in their bed convulsing and foaming at his mouth. David woke her adult son and directed him to call 911 to request immediate help. David then started CPR on her husband until assistance arrived. Before this time, Guirguis had not experienced or been diagnosed with a seizure condition. At approximately 4:30 a.m. on Oct. 27, 2021, defendant officers were dispatched to the residence for a reported individual suffering from cardiac arrest. Defendant officers arrived prior to emergency medical services. Upon arrival at the scene, defendant officers were met by David, who directed them upstairs to her distressed husband,” the suit said.
“Defendant officers did not ask anyone whether Guirguis had any known medical conditions. David attempted to explain to defendant officers what was occurring with her husband, but defendant officers ignored her and removed her from the bedroom because she was ‘disruptive.’ Guirguis was in the corner of the bedroom against the bed and the wall. He was convulsing and he had urinated on himself. He also displayed signs of agonal breathing. Guirguis was in a semi-conscious state and unresponsive to defendant officers. Defendant officers, jumping to the conclusion that Guirguis was experiencing an opioid overdose, immediately made the decision to drag Guirguis towards the end of the bed to put Guirguis in the ‘recovery position.’ Guirguis continued to convulse. Defendant officers restrained Guirguis by laying on top of him and pinning him to the ground, restricting his movements.”
The suit added that throughout the entire interaction, Guirguis did not speak, his eyes kept opening and closing and he was unarmed throughout the entire encounter.