Sixth Update: Autopsy Report Released; Cause and Manner of Death Determined

Mason Police District – Detectives with the Major Crimes Division have obtained Paul Arthur Gianelos’ completed autopsy report from the Department of Health, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. As quoted from the Report of Autopsy regarding Paul Arthur Gianelos, “Cause of Death: Cardiac Arrhythmia Associated with Police Restraint, Manner of Death: Accident.”

As previously posted on our April 20, 2016, update, the investigation has revealed that it was reported to responding police officers that Mr. Gianelos, who was on an outing with other members of a group home, suffered from cognitive disabilities and had wandered away from his caregivers. After a lookout was broadcast to patrol officers, the first responding officer, who was certified in Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) skills, located Mr. Gianelos about a mile away, on Annandale Road and attempted to engage him in conversation. Upon locating him, the officer contacted Mr. Gianelos’ caregiver and asked that they respond to reunite with him. The officer’s intention and purpose was to check on Mr. Gianelos’ welfare and to reunite him with his caregivers. While awaiting for the caregiver to arrive, Mr. Gianelos became physically combative with the officer and a struggle ensued. The officer requested assistance and additional officers arrived.  Mr. Gianelos, who remained physically combative, was taken to the ground and handcuffed. He sustained an abrasion during the scuffle and the officers requested medical staff from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department to respond to assess the abrasion. Upon arrival of rescue personnel, Mr. Gianelos was alert and breathing and then he experienced an apparent medical emergency and CPR was administered. He was transported to INOVA Fairfax Hospital where he was pronounced deceased a short time later. No weapons were used against Mr. Gianelos during this incident.

The Fairfax County Police Department is conducting a two-pronged investigation; first, the Major Crimes Division is the investigative entity responsible for the criminal investigation and the Internal Affairs Bureau is responsible for the internal administrative investigation.

On August 4, the completed criminal investigation, which includes all forensic analysis, all evidence, and the autopsy report, was turned over to the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the County of Fairfax, for final determination of criminal liability. The internal administrative investigation remains active.

To view the previous releases, please click on the link provided below:

July 19, 2016:  Fifth Update: Death Investigation of Paul Arthur Gianelos (prior releases are linked within the document).

The Fairfax County Police Department will provide further updates within the next 30 days or as soon as additional information becomes available.