Disabled Man Dies After Struggle With Officers in Fairfax County, Police Say

A disabled man died Wednesday after a confrontation with officers near a park in Falls Church, Virginia, police said.

Fairfax County police said 45-year-old Paul Gianelos, a resident of a group home, wandered away from Round Tree Park at 3320 Annandale Road about 1 p.m. Gianelos had developmental and physical disabilities, police said.

An officer found Gianelos about a mile and a half away from the park and asked for the caregiver to meet them, police said. 

While waiting for the caregiver, police said Gianelos became combative. Four officers restrained him and handcuffed him behind his back. In the struggle, Gianelos' forehead was scraped.

Police said Gianelos was 5-foot-9 and about 280 pounds.

He experienced a medical emergency while the officers tried to take him into custody, police said.

Fairfax County police Chief Col. Edwin Roessler said Gianelos was alert and breathing when police called paramedics. When a crew arrived, Gianelos suffered what appeared to be cardiac arrest, police said.

A medic performed CPR on Gianelos while he was rushed to Inova Fairfax Hospital, police said.

Gianelos did not survive and was declared dead soon after he arrived at the hospital, police said.

Roessler said the officer that first found Gianelos is a 20-year veteran who had been trained in crisis intervention. 

Detectives with the Fairfax County Police Department and the Internal Affairs Bureau are investigating.

A medical examiner will determine Gianelos' cause of death.

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