Security footage shows Czapnik after stabbing
OTTAWA - Courtroom No. 36 went silent Wednesday morning as a videotaped image of a bloodied Const. Eric Czapnik appeared on several TV screens.
Czapnik, his jacket stained with blood, was running into the hospital, holding onto his neck tightly.
With a paramedic leading the way from the emergency bay at the Civic hospital, miraculously, Czapnik walked in unattended.
It was a moment in time that seemed to catch family members off guard, a vivid display of the real horror the fallen officer went through back in the early morning hours of Dec. 29, 2009.
Following the brief moment when Czapnik rushes into the hospital, the image captured by the hospital cameras fills up with medical professionals and police officers.
Court has heard Czapnik was stabbed to death. Charged with first-degree murder is Kevin Gregson, a former RCMP officer.
Minutes later, his image appears on screen, coming in from the same doors that Czapnik had used.
With his hands behind his back, Gregson has a police officer on either side of him.
Diagnostic radiologist Dr. Michael Kingstone, who specialize in neuro radiology, which includes images of the brain, was next on the stand.
In another videotape shown to the jury on Tuesday, Gregson told Det. Tim Hodgins he had colloid cysts, tumours he says “disappeared” after he had a shunt put into his head.
Gregson said holes in his head now remain where the tumours were, describing his brain like “swiss cheese.”
With several images of Gregson’s brain on the screen, Kingstone showed the jury what colloid cysts look like.
But that’s not what Gregson had, the doctor tells the court.
Kingstone examined several CT and MRI images of Gregson’s brain from 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2011.
Turns out Gregson didn’t have colloid cysts, but something called atypical type 3 perivascular spaces, Kingstone said.
And when there’s a buildup of the fluid there because it isn’t draining properly, it’s called hydrocephalus or water on the brain.
Gregson was diagnosed with hydrocephalus in 2006, and that’s when the shunt, which appeared to solve the problem with the fluid buildup, was implanted.
Looking at an image of Gregson’s brain taken the day he stabbed Czapnik, Kingstone said it appears the shunt was working properly. If it wasn’t functioning, the dark spaces on the screen would have been enlarged, he explained.
Next up was Dr. John Sinclair, a neurosurgeon who has treated Gregson since 2008.
Sinclair emphatically told the court that hydrocephalus would not change someone’s personality or make them more aggressive.
That suggestion had come from Gregson’s video on Tuesday, in which he blamed the tumours for his behaviour and increased inability to control anger.
“The symptoms, depending on the speed of the blockage, could be a relatively slow onset of headaches, nausea, drowsiness,” Sinclair said, adding in more abrupt cases of pressure, the patient could become “comatose quite quickly and you can die.”
But while these symptoms sometimes occur, Sinclair was emphatic with both the Crown and Gregson’s lawyer Craig Fleming that the cysts would not cause increased aggression.
“No,” Sinclair said. “It’s not an area associated with personality behaviour.
“Essentially, the chances of that are pretty close to 0.”
Sinclair also disputed the suggestion, again made by Gregson on the videotape, that the cysts were caused by repeated hits to the head.
Questioned by the Crown, Sinclair acknowledged that in his line of work, he has to be aware of different neurological issues, to be on the alert for psychiatric conditions.
Sinclair said he never observed any issues, and never considered sending Gregson for a referral.
The Crown has wrapped up its case against Gregson.
The defence will make their opening remarks Thursday morning.
Gregson is expected to take the witness stand.