FCPD Investigating Death of Man After Police Scuffle

by Karen Goff April 21, 2016 at 11:30 am 3 Comments

Fairfax County Police Fairfax County Police are investigating the death of man who had wandered away from his group home outing and died after a struggle with police on Wednesday.

The incident happened on the other side of the Fairfax County, in Roundtree Park in Falls Church. The deceased has been identified as Paul Arthur Gianelos, 45, of Annandale.

The death will be investigated by the Major Crimes Division and the Internal Affairs Division. No weapons were used on the man, who suffered from cognitive disabilities, police said.

Police said on Wednesday about 1 p.m., patrol officers were dispatched to the area of Round Tree Park at 3320 Annandale Rd., for a report of a missing man who had wandered from the park on foot.

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.

Fire/Rescue units responded and transported Gianelos to Inova Fairfax Hospital while actively performing CPR. The patient did not survive and was declared deceased soon after arrival at the hospital.

More from police:

The investigation has revealed that the first responding officer, a veteran with more than 20 years of service with the police department and who is Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) certified, located Mr. Gianelos about a mile away, on Annandale Road and attempted to engage him in conversation.

It was reported to responding officers that Mr. Gianelos, who was on an outing with other members of a group home, suffered from cognitive disabilities.

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. For reasons yet to be determined, Mr. Gianelos became physically combative with the officer and a struggle ensued.

The officer requested assistance and as three additional officers arrived, Mr. Gianelos, who remained combative, was taken to the ground and handcuffed. He sustained a minor abrasion during the scuffle and rescue was summoned. He was alert and breathing when rescue was called. Mr. Gianelos then experienced an apparent medical emergency, went into cardiac arrest and CPR was administered as 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 police department is conducting a two-pronged investigation; first, the Major Crimes Division is conducting a criminal investigation and detectives from the Internal Affairs Bureau are conducting an administrative investigation.

Police are asking that any community members who witnessed this event, please call the Fairfax County Police Department’s non-emergency number, 703-691-2131 .


  • Chuck Morningwood

    Rest in peace, Paul Arthur Gianelos. You will be missed.

  • Mike M

    “Oops! I think we killed him! Dang!”

    You swaggering first responder heroes might want to take that course on dealing with the mentally impaired again. This guy’s crime was, . . . ? Did he physically assault the officers? He needed to be “taken down” because? Was he a danger to himself or anyone else? Wouldn’t I be better off with my own open carry and no police. The older I get the more I see that the police are a bigger threat to me and my loved ones than any sort of protection. This sounds worse then shooting the guy who was a serious and active threat a few years back. Sounds like the mentally ill woman in the jail the Deputies killed.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    As the parent of a special needs child, unfortunately I have had to call FCPD on numerous occasions to fetch my little one who had wandered off. Both my family, and my child, more importantly, were treated with a high-degree of care, understanding and respect. I would not hesitate to call the police if my son should wander off again, in spite of the fact that my son is now bigger than I am.

    With that said, I am willing to give the officer involved the benefit of the doubt. I’m sure this was a traumatic event for him too. I’m hoping that this was just an unfortunate accident.

    In the end, I’m prepared to wait for the official report on this event before I pass final judgement.


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