The April 20 death of a 45-year-old Falls Church man who was being restrained by the police was ruled an accident in the Fairfax Department of Health, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. The autopsy report said the cause of Paul Gianelos’ death was a cardiac arrhythmia associated with police restraint.
On April 20, just before 1 p.m., Fairfax County police officers from the Mason District Station were dispatched to the area of Round Tree Park at 3320 Annandale Road for a report of a critical missing man who had wandered from the park on foot.
According to earlier police reports, officers located the man and were attempting to return him to caretakers when a struggle ensued. While attempting to take him into custody, he experienced an apparent medical emergency.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue units responded and transported Gianelos to Inova Fairfax Hospital while actively performing CPR. But he did not survive and was declared deceased soon after arrival at the hospital.
The Fairfax County Police Department said that an investigation of the incident revealed that Gianelos, who was on an outing with other members of a group home, suffered from cognitive disabilities.
The police department is conducting a two-pronged investigation. First, the department’s 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 department said that it will provide further updates within the next 30 days or as soon as additional information becomes available.