News Release

Man Injured After Punching Cruiser Partition; SIU Terminates Barrie Investigation

Case Number: 20-OCI-162   

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Mississauga, ON (28 August, 2020) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has terminated an investigation into the serious injury sustained by a 24-year-old man last month while he was in the back of a Barrie Police Service cruiser.

At approximately 11:15 a.m. on July 2, 2020, Barrie Police Service officers attended an address on Johnson Street in Barrie in response to a domestic incident. As a result of the officers’ investigation, a man was arrested for various domestic-related offences and transported to the police station. While en route, the man managed to move his handcuffs from behind his back to the front of his body. Thereafter, he punched the partition in the cruiser and immediately complained of pain in his hand. The man was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with a fracture to his right hand. 

Director Martino said, “Based upon the SIU’s preliminary inquiries, it is apparent that no police officer caused or contributed to the man’s injury in any manner that could conceivably attract criminal liability. The man fractured his own hand while in the backseat of a cruiser – the result of banging his handcuffed hands out of frustration on the partition that divided the front and rear compartments of the vehicle. Accordingly, there being palpably nothing to further investigate as far the potential criminal liability of any officer is concerned, the investigation is hereby discontinued, and the file is closed.”

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