Post courtesy of News.com.au
Date Of Injury: February 2016
THE Miss Australia International beauty contestant who suffered horrendous burns during a drug raid has lashed out at police, saying nobody deserves to be maimed like her.
Felicia Djamirze, 28, suffered third degree burns when a police stun grenade exploded on the bed she was sharing with an alleged outlaw bikie club associate early in the morning of February 9.
The assault by heavily armed police was initiated after surveillance allegedly revealed the man she was living with to have been at the centre of a local crystal amphetamine ‘ice’ distribution ring.
The former Miss Australian International and Miss Tourism model revealed on A Current Affair the police stun grenade exploded in her face: “I thought I was going to die. I have never in my life experienced such excruciating pain.”
She told a bedside video diary from her hospital bed that she was the innocent victim of unnecessary police force.
“I’m really struggling to cope,” she says. “My eye’s hurting so much. I’m in so much pain.”
Djamirze has undergone several operations on her eye and a seriously burnt hand.
Whether or not she will regain use of her hand is not yet known, she says.
IN THE CROSSFIRE
The beauty queen had became embroiled in an ongoing police investigation into organised crime under Queensland’s Taskforce Maxima.
Her unemployed boyfriend, Dean Grant O’Donnell, 35, was alleged by police to be an associate of the Rebels bikie club and a central player in the local distribution of the outlawed dug ice.
Police stormed the couple’s Queensland home after an extensive surveillance operation.
Police say they found a large quantity of drugs, including 400ml of methylamphetamine oil and 2kg of ice, a loaded handgun and a shotgun in or near the home. In total seven firearms were recovered during related raids early in February.
O’Donnell now faces 13 drug and weapon charges.
“My face was burning,” Djamirze told the video diary. “ I could feel that I was on fire … I felt like my hair was on fire. I was scared that another one was going to hit me and I was screaming out, ‘I’m hurt! Please stop! I’m hurt’.
“An officer stepped through (a broken window) and had a gun pointed. He was screaming at me to put my hands in the air … I couldn’t because my hand was barely attached to my arm.”
Djamirze says no-one helped her, despite her severe injuries, and it took 40 minutes for an ambulance to arrive and take her to hospital.
“They left me there to burn — they didn’t even put me under cold water or a cold shower,” Djamirze alleges.
CENTRE OF ATTENTION
Despite being an unemployed bodybuilder, O’Donnel reportedly lived an extravagant lifestyle in his Queensland home and flaunted his wealth through a black Chrysler, Louis Vuitton branded dog collars and a $2100 Versace man-purse.
Men allegedly linked to O’Donnel’s ice ring had been accused of involvement in several local baseball bat bashings, though police say they had been unable to get the victims to lodge formal complaints.
To investigate O’Donnell’s activities, surveillance cameras and microphones were installed in their home, their phones tapped and their vehicles tracked.
They watched for some eight months.
Police video allegedly recorded the couple snorting something which appeared to be cocaine on several occasions.
Djamirze was also allegedly recorded saying: “Don’t be dropping coke on the floor or the dogs will lick it up or snort it.”
Police also allege the couple were recorded discussing the drug trade and how to launder money.
Djamirze has been charged with drug trafficking offences, but has denied the allegations.
“I’m not concerned, because the people that know me and that love me know my heart,” she told A Current Affair. “And they know I’m innocent.”
TACTICAL POLICE RAID
Djamirze says she was sleeping in bed alongside O’Donnell at the time of the raid.
“I sleep on my hands,” she says. “That’s my usual sleeping position. I thank God for that, and you know, because my hands saved my life. With my hand, I protected my and my hand took the full brunt face of the explosion.”
Stun grenades are intended to overwhelm the senses through an intensely loud bang and bright flash of light. The plume of fire associated with producing this shock is harmful only when in proximity.
Police say the use of the grenade by specialist tactical officers was justified because O’Donnell‘s alleged access to firearms.
“It will be further alleged that the man had been seen previously with the located handgun, and another handgun, in the house prior to the search warrant being executed,” a spokesman told news.com.au.
Djamirze’s lawyer, Chris Ford, told Channel Nine his client intended to sue.
Ford has said police were “both excessive and negligent” during the armed raid.
“This was not a siege situation or a situation where police were chasing an armed fugitive,” Ford earlier told the Courier Mail. “There was no imminent threat and the police had the advantage of surprise. The police rode in like cowboys (and) nearly killed my client. There should be a full independent investigation.”
Queensland police say the Ethical Standards Command would investigate the incident before any comment was made.
“I’m struggling to see,” Djamirze says. “Just waiting now for the doctors to come around and change my pain plan — give me more painkillers, hopefully, ‘cause I’m really suffering.”