News Release

No Charges to Issue in Relation to Man’s Fall from Central Avenue Bridge in Fort Erie

Case Number: 19-OCI-289

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Mississauga, ON (29 July, 2020) ---
On the morning of November 30, 2019, an employee of the Peace Bridge Authority contacted police with concerns that a man might jump from the Central Avenue Bridge in Fort Erie. Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) officers attended and spoke with the 28-year-old man. Satisfied that he was not a threat to himself or anyone else, the officers watched as the man walked away before themselves driving off. Later that morning, the same employee called police to report that the man had gone over the railing and hung from it for a period before pulling himself back up onto the bridge. The officers attended to check on the welfare of the man. As one of the officers exited his cruiser, the man ran toward the centre of the bridge and jumped headlong over the bridge railing. Despite the officer’s efforts to hold onto the man, the man fell down onto an embankment some five metres below the bridge. The officers went to the man and comforted him until the arrival of emergency medical services. In hospital, the man was diagnosed and treated for fractures to his pelvis, a rib, and femur. 
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has determined there are no reasonable grounds to believe that a NRPS officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the man’s injuries.

Full Director’s Report (with Incident Narrative, Evidence, and Analysis & Director’s Decision): 

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
  • publicly report the results of its investigations

Lisez ce communiqué en français.

Monica Hudon,
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342