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Sirens & Gavels

EMT: Moses told me of Zehm head strikes

Another EMT who responded to the Zip Trip the night of Otto Zehm's fatal confrontation with Officer Karl Thompson told jurors this morning that Officer Tim Moses said Zehm had been struck in the head, neck and upper chest with a police baton.

Aaron Jaramillo, a former EMT with American Medical Response, reiterated what EMT Michael Stussi told jurors Wednesday.

"We needed to know what he was injured" beyond just the "confrontation" explanation, Jaramillo said. That's when they spoke with Moses, who said Zehm had been hit "up and down" in the head, neck and upper torso with a baton, Jarmillo said.

Federal prosecutor Victor Boutros showed Jaramillo images of the Zip Trip after the confrontation.
Jaramillo identified himself and Stussi as talking to Moses. Moses is seen gesturing up and down with his arm - Jaramillo said he was "trying to describe" how Zehm was hit.

Jaramillo said Moses was the only one who spoke of head strikes that night.

Jaramillo and Stussi wrote in a pre-hospital care report that Zehm was struck in the head. Spokane police employees were present when it was written; none disputed the head strikes claim, Jaramillo told jurors.

But Jaramillo wasn't so sure when he first testified before a grand jury in 2009. Boutros questioned him about getting only one hour of sleep because of a newborn baby and flying to Spokane from Florida. He was much more alert for his testimony the next day.

Defense lawyer Steve Lamberson said Jaramillo has previously said that Moses never mentioned a head strike, rather Jaramillo assumed he was referring to one by the way he was gesturing.

"No, he said head, neck and upper chest," Jaramillo said.

 Lamberson also pointed out that in the first day of testimony before the grand jury, Jaramillo said "right now, I don't remember" when asked if Zehm lunged at Thompson.

He also noted that both Stussi and Jaramillo evaluated Zehm for head injuries but found nothing. Also, a doctor's report said nothing about head injuries or strikes.

Boutros then emphasized bruising takes time to develop, and that Jaramillo noted in his initial report that Zehm was struck in the head with a baton.

Jaramillo was told that Zehm threw bottle at Thompson, was Tasered but not affected, then lunged at Thompson.

Officer Tim Moses is expected to testify as early as this afternoon.

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