The Greek-American community of Whitestone, NY remains in shock and the family is demanding answers from police after twenty-nine-year old George Zapantis suffered a fatal heart attack after being tasered twice by officers after he was arrested while brandishing a sword.
A GoFundMe page under the “George Zapantis Memorial” has been started by the victim’s cousin Marina Zapantis, who wrote on the site saying that “George and his heart of gold will be sorely missed. He is survived by his mother and sister who loved him very much.”
The money which is being raised will be used to help pay off funeral, burial and any other expenses related to Zapantis’ death in order to help his family.
George Zapantis lived with his mother Sia Zapantis, while caring for his sister Eleftheria, who suffers from Down Syndrome.
Currently, the donations have reached a total of over $45,000. Marina Zapantis specified that any remaining funds will be properly distributed to the rest of the victim’s immediate family.
Marina also wrote on the page how thankful her family is for the overwhelming support given to them by the local Greek community, stating that they were “astonished by everyone’s love and generosity for our Georgie!”
No recent statement has been issued by New York’s 109th precinct regarding the death of George Zapantis or the officers who were involved in the incident.
Officers had responded to a 911 call from a neighbor on Sunday, June 21 saying that there was a man with a gun. When they found the twenty-nine-year-old man in his residence, he was in full gladiator regalia and wielding not a gun but a samurai sword.
The victim was known to have suffered from bipolar disorder.
Police tasered Zapantis and removed him from his home, at which time the victim went into cardiac arrest.
Zapantis was rushed to New York-Presbyterian hospital, where he was later pronounced dead by medical examiners. Despite the support from the community, the family is still demanding answers from the police regarding George’s death.
Those who would like to donate to the George Zapantis Memorial can do so at his GoFundMe page.