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Mother says son who died after being tased by cops should be alive today

Posted at 11:57 PM, Jun 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-23 23:57:12-04

A terrified Queens man called his mother and told her police were at the door; it was his last conversation with her before he died.

George Zapantis' heartbroken mother said Tuesday her son should be alive today.

On Sunday, police said they responded to the home after receiving a call of a man with a gun at the residence from someone in the neighborhood.

They found George Zapantis in the basement holding the sword. When Zapantis ignored officer commands and approached police, sword still in hand, officers deployed their Tasers.

Cell phone video provided to PIX 11 News by the family attorney shows four officers outside of the home, struggling to detain Zapantis, who had his back turned to the officers.

The 29-year-old had mental health issues and was bipolar.

His mother said her son called her as officers were knocking on the door.

"He say to me mommy you need to come home right now I see a lot of cops outside,” said Athanasia Zapantis. "I say 'George, I’m working baby, how am I going to leave my job.'”

A close family friend went to check on him. By the time that person arrived, Zapantis was already on the ground and paramedics were trying to revive him.

The man’s mother said the officers broke the plexiglass off her door, and she believes they forced their way inside to get to her son.

"He cared about family he was good to everybody,” she said.

Despite his mental health issues, Zapantis helped his mother care for a 33-year-old sister who is disabled.