By Barry Ellsworth
TRENTON, Canada (AA) – Two former paramedics in Canada were found guilty Tuesday of failing to properly care for a 19-year-old Muslim teen who died from a gunshot wound.
Yosif Al-Hasnawi, 19, came to the aid of an older man who was being harassed by two young men. Al-Hasnawi and some family members had just left a mosque in Hamilton, Ontario. The incident occurred Dec. 2, 2017 in the city, which is near Toronto.
One of the men shot the teen with a .22 caliber handgun in the abdomen.
Paramedics Steven Snively, 55, and Christopher Marchant, 32, arrived but did not treat Al-Hasnawi's injuries seriously, believing he had been shot with a pellet gun or BB gun. The teen's father, Majed Al-Hasnawi, told reporters at the time that paramedics believed his son to be "acting" and actually laughed when Al-Hasnawi said "I cannot breathe," CTV News reported.
Given their training, government prosecutors said the pair should have administered aid immediately and transported the teen to a hospital. The paramedics waited 23 minutes before they left for the hospital by ambulance. Al-Hasnawi was pronounced dead at the hospital about an hour after he had been shot.
"To say this is a tragic case would be a gross understatement," Justice Harrison Arrell said in delivering his decision Tuesday, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
"I conclude these various failures by the accused were not simple inadvertence, thoughtlessness or simple errors in judgment, but instead were a conscious decision to ignore their training and standards," said Arrell.
"I also conclude that as a result of these various failures of the accused, it was objectively and reasonably foreseeable that they were risking Yosif's life and permanently endangering his health."
Al-Hasnawi was considered a good Samaritan by others since he was shot while trying to help the older man.
The two paramedics, who had pleaded not guilty, will be sentenced in October.
Dale King, the man who shot the teen, was charged with second-degree murder but was found not guilty. That ruling is being appealed.