Shot, then Handcuffed
After receiving the bullet wounds that would prove fatal in less than 4 hours, Woody was handcuffed while he lay bleeding on the floor face down. Officer Parker described the process in his December 3 interview:
|I was going to hold both hands and we got the handcuffs on him and uh I was not able to, to ah cuff him myself I ah, his right arm had been shot and it was bleeding and appeared a number of wounds so it was very, it was a little bit slippery and stuff but we were able to get both arms into ah submission for the handcuffing.|
Despite repeated requests by a physician who had been in the congregation that the handcuffs be removed so she could treat his wounds, the police refused to remove them. Woody's wounds included a shattered elbow and abdominal wounds. The evidence that police actions delayed medical care include the voicemail message, and statements by witnesses.
In the voicemail message the physician, Phyllis, can be heard to say, "I'm a physician" one minute and eight seconds into the tape, then again at one minute and twenty-two seconds. At around one minute and six seconds Phyllis can be heard to say "... holding the shoulder". This suggests that her access to Woody was impeded by the handcuffs, since his right arm was shattered and handcuffed to his left arm behind his back, and the wound that would prove fatal was to his abdomen. According to witnesses Woody was bleeding heavily during this time, as the rug had become soaked with blood.
The handcuffs were only removed when the second team EMTs, Brian Patno and Sally Brunton, arrived. Elena Mayo of Rescue Inc. had the following to say about the handcuffs:
|His right arm badly and obviously fractured, bleeding on abdomen, hands restrained with handcuffs. When I cut off his shirt I saw two holes in his right flank. Officer Davies stated he could not remove handcuffs because patient had not been searched, but when I said I needed them off, he took them off and did a cursory body search.|
This scene, in which the handcuffs were finally removed so the EMT's could roll Woody onto his back and gain access to his abdominal wounds, may have occurred as much as 10 minutes after the shooting, according to the memories of witnesses.
The handcuffs may not have been the only factor preventing the timely delivery of care, but their role is at least documented.