DeSantis aide lay ‘dead or dying’ outside governor’s office for 24 minutes

A Ron DeSantis aide lay “dead or dying” in a governor’s office hallway for 24 minutes before anyone came to his aide, according to a report.

Peter Antonacci, 74, died on 23 September 2022 after “abruptly” leaving a meeting of the Office of Election Crimes and Safety, which the governor had appointed him to lead two months earlier.

Mr DeSantis created the office after one-term president Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud in his 2020 defeat to Joe Biden.

At the time of his death, officials said that Antonacci died “while at work in the Capitol building, of which the governor’s office is a part.”

Now the exact location has been revealed following a public records request by the Florida Bulldog, a non-profit news organisation in the state.

“At approximately 1.46pm Mr. Antonacci is observed standing up and walking out of the conference room [redacted],” the report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement states.

desantis aide lay ‘dead or dying’ outside governor’s office for 24 minutes

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis listens as Florida Election Crimes and Security Office Director Peter Antonacci speaks during a press conference at the Broward County Courthouse on August 18, 2022 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Getty Images)

“He steadies himself on the left wall. The hall [redacted] when he falls and appears to strike his head on the door on the [redacted] (sic). There appeared to be no foul play in the Room (sic) or hallway. At approximately 2.10.05pm, FDL Comm. [Mark] Glass appears to notice Antonacci down the hallway to his aid (sic).”

FDLE Commissioner Mark Glass stated that he walked out into the hallway 25 minutes after Antonacci left and saw him with a “purple and blue” face.

He also had a cut on his forehead from apparently falling and hitting his head on a door or doorknob. Mr Glass stated that he had felt for a pulse and had found none.

FDLE Chief of Staff Shane Desguin stated that he and Mr Glass performed chest compressions and used a breathing device until first responders arrived.

The reports state that Antonacci was pronounced dead at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. His wife, Anne Longman, and his doctor stated that he had a long history of heart disease, and the doctor signed off on the death certificate.  No autopsy was carried out.

The Independent has reached out to the governor’s office for comment.

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