Sister of dead Vancouver man targets police taser accountability

by: Vancouver Courier
published: 30 May 2012

Next month marks an anniversary Patti Gillman wishes could be for a happier reason than learning about her older brother’s death in a downtown hotel. 

Eight years ago, 44-year-old Robert Wayne Bagnell died in the Old Continental Hotel at 1390 Granville St. after police attempted to arrest him in a washroom.

“It just brings a deep sense of loss and sadness,” said Gillman, by telephone from her home in Belleville, Ont., who lost her brother June 23, 2004.

Vancouver police officers twice fired a Taser at Bagnell, handcuffed him and unsuccessfully used “zap straps” to tie his feet together before using a “triangular bandage” to restrain his legs.

He became unresponsive and died at the scene. To this day, Gillman doesn’t believe a Taser was necessary in the arrest of her brother, noting he was 136 pounds and in medical distress when officers arrived at the hotel. “I don’t think it helped,” she said of the stun gun.

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