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Dziekanski’s death ‘terrible’

A Mountie who confronted Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver’s airport said he regrets the Polish immigrant died, but said he doubts he would have done anything differently.

A Mountie who confronted Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver’s airport said he regrets the Polish immigrant died, but said he doubts he would have done anything differently.

RCMP Const. Gerry Rundel told the Braidwood Inquiry yesterday that Dziekanski’s death was a “terrible outcome” and one that was never intended.

“There have been a lot of people, a lot of agencies, that have dealt with Mr. Dziekanski right from the time he left Poland,” Rundel said. “I’m sure there isn’t one person that’s looking back and wondering if they could have done something differently.

“With the limited information we had, I can’t say that we could have done anything differently.”

The 40-year-old Polish immigrant died at YVR in the early morning hours of Oct. 14 following a confrontation with four officers in which he was Tasered multiple times.

The Mounties arrived at the scene armed with faulty data from their dispatcher, including incorrect information that Dziekanski was intoxicated and was throwing chairs through glass windows.

Earlier in the day, Walter Kosteckyj, the lawyer for Dziekanski’s mother, questioned Rundel on why, if there were four officers, one of them didn’t call for an interpreter or talk to witnesses to find out what occurred before their arrival.

Rundel said if the opportunity and the time had been available the proper information would have been gathered, but events “happened very quickly.”

Kosteckyj also wanted to know why no warning was given before the Taser was fired.

Rundel admitted that a warning should have been given, had there been time, but added every situation was different.

“There was no time,” Rundel said. “I feared for my safety … due to the fact that it happened so fast, that Mr. Dziekanski went from resistant to combative with an object, a stapler in his hands. We acted and responded appropriately in that situation.”

Rundel’s cross-examination continues today. He will be followed by the other three Mounties.

 
 
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