SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-TCI-048
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Mandate of the SIU
Under the SIU Act, the Director of the SIU must determine based on the evidence gathered in an investigation whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that a criminal offence was committed. If such grounds exist, the Director has the authority to lay a criminal charge against the official. Alternatively, in cases where no reasonable grounds exist, the Director cannot lay charges. Where no charges are laid, a report of the investigation is prepared and released publicly, except in the case of reports dealing with allegations of sexual assault, in which case the SIU Director may consult with the affected person and exercise a discretion to not publicly release the report having regard to the affected person’s privacy interests.
Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019Pursuant to section 34, certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- The name of, and any information identifying, a subject official, witness official, civilian witness or affected person.
- Information that may result in the identity of a person who reported that they were sexually assaulted being revealed in connection with the sexual assault.
- Information that, in the opinion of the SIU Director, could lead to a risk of serious harm to a person.
- Information that discloses investigative techniques or procedures.
- Information, the release of which is prohibited or restricted by law.
- Information in which a person’s privacy interest in not having the information published clearly outweighs the public interest in having the information published.
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy ActPursuant to section14 (i.e., law enforcement), certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Confidential investigative techniques and procedures used by law enforcement agencies; and
- Information that could reasonably be expected to interfere with a law enforcement matter or an investigation undertaken with a view to a law enforcement proceeding.
Pursuant to section 21 (i.e., personal privacy), protected personal information is not included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- The names of persons, including civilian witnesses, and subject and witness officials;
- Location information;
- Witness statements and evidence gathered in the course of the investigation provided to the SIU in confidence; and
- Other identifiers which are likely to reveal personal information about individuals involved in the investigation.
Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004Pursuant to this legislation, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.
Other proceedings, processes, and investigations
Information may also have been excluded from this report because its release could undermine the integrity of other proceedings involving the same incident, such as criminal proceedings, coroner’s inquests, other public proceedings and/or other law enforcement investigations.
A person sustains a “serious injury” for purposes of the SIU’s jurisdiction if they: sustain an injury as a result of which they are admitted to hospital; suffer a fracture to the skull, or to a limb, rib or vertebra; suffer burns to a significant proportion of their body; lose any portion of their body; or, as a result of an injury, experience a loss of vision or hearing.
In addition, a “serious injury” means any other injury sustained by a person that is likely to interfere with the person’s health or comfort and is not transient or trifling in nature.
This report relates to the SIU’s investigation into a serious injury sustained by a 43-year-old woman (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn February 12, 2021, at 7:32 a.m., the Toronto Police Service (TPS) notified the SIU of the Complainant’s injury.
The TPS advised that on February 11, 2021, at 5:00 p.m., TPS officers responded to a possible impaired driver in the area of Charles Street. Two police officers found the vehicle stopped on Charles Street in the live lane. They turned on their emergency lights and approached the vehicle. The vehicle [now determined to be driven by the Complainant] fled the scene heading towards Yonge Street. The police officers followed the vehicle at a distance and saw the Complainant turn south onto Yonge Street. The police officers pulled over when the Complainant went through several red lights and advised the police dispatcher that they had discontinued following the Complainant. A third police officer saw the Complainant’s vehicle at Bay Street and Dundas Street heading east on Dundas Street. The third police officer followed the Complainant’s vehicle on Dundas Street. Subsequently, the Complainant’s vehicle mounted the curb and drove into the glass doors of the Eaton Centre. The police blocked her vehicle and went to arrest her. The Complainant was arrested for flight from police and dangerous driving. She refused medical attention and was lodged in cells.
Later the Complainant complained of an injury and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital. At 1:00 a.m. on February 12, 2021, the Complainant was diagnosed with a proximal humerus fracture of the left arm. The Complainant was treated and released from hospital and returned to 55 Division for a show cause hearing.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 02/12/2021 at 8:22 a.m.
Date and time SIU responded: 02/12/2021 at 8:44 a.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):43-year-old female interviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on February 12, 2021.
Subject OfficialsSO #1 Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed
SO #2 Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed
SO #3 Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed
The subject officials were interviewed on March 1, 2021.
Witness OfficialsWO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Interviewed
The witness officials were interviewed between February 17, 2021, and February 26, 2021.
The Scene The scene was at the entrance doors to the Eaton Centre at Yonge Street and Shuter Street. The Complainant’s Ford Escape had mounted the sidewalk running north and south on the west side of Yonge Street and was driven into the entrance doors.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
Communications RecordingsThe recordings were made on February 11, 2021 and captured the following:
At 4:58:35 p.m., TPS received a 911 call about a vehicle running red traffic lights and stopping in the middle of the road. The vehicle was described as a grey Ford Escape and it was noted that the driver was a woman [now determined to be the Complainant].
At 4:58:56 p.m., the 911 caller reported that the Complainant had thrown an Amazon package and then a Tim Hortons box out of her vehicle.
At 5:02:25 p.m., another 911 caller reported the Complainant was sitting in her vehicle yelling at herself. Furthermore, the caller reported the first four letters of the Complainant’s vehicle’s licence plate.
At 5:04:26 p.m., SO #2 was dispatched to attend the complaint.
At 5:08:09 p.m., WO #2 and WO #3 requested to be placed on the call as they were at Church Street and Charles Street East.
At 5:09:12 p.m., WO #2 and WO #3 reported seeing the Complainant’s vehicle stopped in the middle of the intersection at Charles Street East and Church Street.
At 5:10:20 p.m., WO #2 and WO #3 reported seeing the Complainant’s vehicle stopped at a red traffic light at Charles Street East and Yonge Street. The Complainant’s vehicle then turned southbound onto Yonge Street. WO #2 and WO #3 advised the dispatcher they were not in pursuit of the Complainant’s vehicle.
At 5:10:54 p.m., WO #2 and WO #3 reported they were driving southbound on Yonge Street and had lost sight of the Complainant’s vehicle.
At 5:11:12 p.m., WO #2 and WO #3 observed the Complainant’s vehicle going south on Yonge Street passing Gloucester Street at a slow rate of speed.
At 5:11:47 p.m., WO #2 and WO #3 observed the Complainant’s vehicle drive through the intersection of Yonge Street and Wellesley Street East on a red traffic light.
At 5:12:27 p.m., WO #2 and WO #3 watched as the Complainant’s vehicle continued south on Yonge Street at Wood Street and drove through a red traffic light.
At 5:13:32 p.m., SO #1 was dispatched to the call involving the Complainant.
At 5:14:34 p.m., WO #2 and WO #3 reported they had lost sight of the Complainant’s vehicle, last seen going south on Yonge Street at Wood Street.
At 5:14:41 p.m., SO #2 reported seeing the Complainant’s vehicle driving south on Yonge Street past Gould Street and then turning westbound on Edward Street. SO #2 did not activate his emergency equipment and stated he was not in pursuit of the Complainant.
At 5:15:34 p.m., SO #2 reported seeing the Complainant’s vehicle southbound on Bay Street.
At 5:15:51 p.m., SO #1 reported seeing the Complainant’s vehicle eastbound on Dundas Street and then heading south on Yonge Street.
At 5:16:38 p.m., SO #1 reported the Complainant’s vehicle had driven up into the front doors of the Eaton Centre, and later indicated he had used his police cruiser to block the Complainant’s vehicle from reversing.
At 5:18:19 p.m., SO #1 reported the Complainant was in custody and requested an ambulance. SO #1 requested that a sergeant attend the scene.
At 5:20:59 p.m., SO #1 requested a rush on animal control. He indicated the Complainant had an animal.
At 5:22:02 p.m., SO #1 reported that the Complainant thought she needed an ambulance, but no obvious injuries were noted.
Body Worn Camera (BWC) Footage of SO #2The BWC footage was taken on February 11, 2021. The footage covered the initial TPS response through to the Complainant being placed in the TPS transport vehicle. The video coverage included audio and captured the following:
At 5:16 p.m., SO #2 arrived at the Yonge Street entrance to the Eaton Centre beside the Roots store. He ran to a vehicle [now determined to be driven by the Complainant] that had collided with the entrance doors to the mall. SO #1 had the vehicle’s driver’s door open. The Complainant was in the driver’s seat. SO #1 repeatedly told the Complainant, “Shut the car off,” and then reached into the vehicle to shut off the ignition. SO #2 took hold of the Complainant’s left arm and pulled her from the vehicle. SO #1 took hold of her right arm and assisted. She was brought out of the vehicle and placed on the ground on her back. The Complainant was rolled over onto her stomach.
At 5:17 p.m., the Complainant was yelling, “I have my pets on me, my pets, leave my pets alone.”
At 5:18 p.m., SO #1 and SO #2 handcuffed the Complainant with her hands behind her back.
At 5:20 p.m., the Complainant was still yelling about her pets. WO #1 spoke to the Complainant about removing the handcuffs to allow her to place her pet into a box.
At 5:23 p.m., the Complainant was moved into the vestibule area of the store and her handcuffs were removed. She placed her pet in a cardboard box. The Complainant was handcuffed again with her hands behind her back.
At 5:26 p.m., SO #1 looked around the front seat of the Complainant’s vehicle. He said he was looking for his ASP baton, which he had used to break out the driver’s window.
At 5:32 p.m., an undesignated officer arrived on scene. SO #1 explained to the officer that the Complainant had driven into the doors of the Eaton Centre and tried to reverse. SO #1 pinned her vehicle with his cruiser and during the arrest he wrestled with her.
At 5:39 p.m., EMS arrived. SO #2 went to his police cruiser for paperwork.
At 5:58 p.m., EMS left the scene.
At 6:00 p.m., SO #2 got out of his cruiser, spoke with the undesignated officer and was instructed to start scenes of crime photos. SO #2 photographed the scene.
At 6:12 p.m., the Complainant was escorted out to a TPS transport vehicle parked on Yonge Street.
At 6:13 p.m., WO #1 came up to the transport vehicle and advised the Complainant of the reason for her arrest and right to counsel.
At 6:17 p.m., SO #2 completed photographs and cleared from scene.
BWC Footage of WO #1The BWC footage was recorded on February 11, 2021 and captured the following:
At 6:13:58 p.m., the video began without the audio portion. Three unidentified TPS police officers stood on the sidewalk near a TPS transport vehicle.
At 6:14:07 p.m., WO #1 walked up to the transport vehicle and motioned for the passenger to wait (audio was still on mute).
At 6:14:29 p.m., WO #1 spoke to a woman [now determined to be the Complainant] inside the transport vehicle about her arrest. WO #1 explained the reasons for the arrest to the Complainant. He then advised the Complainant of her legal rights and gave her the police caution. The Complainant told WO #1 she understood her rights and that she wanted to speak to her lawyer.
At 6:15:33 p.m., WO #1 finished his interaction with the Complainant.
At 6:15:35 p.m., the video ended.
In-Car Camera System (ICCS) Footage from SO #3’s cruiserThe ICCS footage was recorded on February 11, 2021. The footage covered the initial response of the TPS police cruiser operated by SO #3 through to the Complainant’s arrest. The following is a summary of what was captured in the footage:
At 5:14 p.m., SO #3 was eastbound on Edward Street approaching Yonge Street. A vehicle [later identified as driven by the Complainant] turned west onto Edward Street from Yonge Street. The vehicle drove directly toward SO #3’s police cruiser, moved to the oncoming parking lane and passed the police cruiser.
Recorded radio broadcasts by a second TPS cruiser that followed the Complainant reported her vehicle turning southbound onto Bay Street. The TPS cruiser that was following her did not have its emergency lighting activated. There were radio broadcasts advising no TPS cruiser was pursuing or in a pursuit with the Complainant. Police cruisers would broadcast the last known locations of the Complainant’s vehicle and nothing more.
At 5:16 p.m., a radio broadcast reported the Complainant’s vehicle was seen southbound on Yonge Street at Dundas Street. A radio broadcast reported the Complainant’s vehicle had driven off Yonge Street into the front doors of the Eaton Centre mall.
At 5:17:01 p.m., SO #3 arrived on scene. A TPS police cruiser was stopped beside the Complainant’s vehicle.
At 5:17:20 p.m., the Complainant’s reversed a short distance.
At 5:17:29 p.m., the Complainant was removed from her vehicle by the subject officials. She was pulled from the vehicle by her left arm and placed on the concrete walkway. The Complainant was rolled over and handcuffed with her hands behind her back. SO #2 was wearing a TPS BWC which was activated.
Materials Obtained from Police Service The SIU obtained the following records from the TPS between February 12, 2021, and March 23, 2021:
• Collision Report;
• Notes of SOs and WOs;
• TPS Booking Report;
• TPS Injury Report (x2);
• TPS General Occurrence;
• TPS Intergraph Computer-assisted Dispatch-Event Details Report;
• TPS Officer List;
• TPS Policy-Arrest;
• TPS Policy-Use of Force & Appendices;
• TPS Policy-Conducted Energy Weapon;
• TPS BWC Recordings;
• TPS Booking Video;
• TPS Communication Recordings;
• TPS ICCS Recordings; and
• TPS Scene Photos.
Just before 5:00 p.m. of February 11, 2021, the TPS received 911 calls about a motorist – the Complainant - operating a Ford Escape in the downtown core of Toronto. The Complainant had run a number of red lights and was throwing items out of her car. Officers were dispatched to investigate.
WO #2 and WO #3 followed the Complainant, from a distance, in their cruiser west on Charles Street East and then south on Yonge Street until they lost sight of her in and around Wood Street.
SO #2 was the next officer to catch up with the Complainant. The officer followed as the Ford Escape travelled south at speed on Yonge Street toward Edward Street, where it turned right almost striking a couple of pedestrians in the process. SO #2 pulled over and disengaged at this time. A short time later, the officer heard a radio transmission from SO #1 indicating that the Complainant’s vehicle had collided with the Eaton Centre – a large shopping complex located on the west side of Yonge Street between Dundas Street West and Queen Street.
The Complainant had continued west on Edward Street until Bay Street, where she travelled south before turning left to travel east on Dundas Street West. While on Dundas Street West, the Complainant drove in the westbound lanes and then turned right onto Yonge Street proceeding south. She travelled a short distance further, blew through a red light at a pedestrian crosswalk, mounted the west sidewalk and crashed into a pair of glass doors to the mall.
SO #1 had followed the Complainant from Dundas Street West until the site of the collision and was the first officer on scene. He drove onto the sidewalk as well and positioned his cruiser’s left front end against the right side of the Ford Escape to prevent its escape as it had started to reverse. The officer exited his cruiser and ordered the Complainant to open the door. When she failed to do so, using his ASP baton, SO #1 smashed the driver’s door window out, opened the door and, reaching in, turned off the ignition and removed the Complainant’s seatbelt.
By this time, SO #1 was joined at the driver’s door by SO #2 and SO #3, arriving to assist. The Complainant was forcibly pulled from the vehicle and taken to the ground, after which she was rolled over and handcuffed.
The Complainant was taken to the police station from the scene. She complained of pain in her shoulder and was ultimately taken to hospital where a fractured left arm was diagnosed.
Section 25(1), Criminal Code -- Protection of persons acting under authority
(a) as a private person,(b) as a peace officer or public officer,(c) in aid of a peace officer or public officer, or(d) by virtue of his office,
Analysis and Director's Decision
Pursuant to section 25(1) of the Criminal Code, police officers are immune from criminal liability for force used in the course of their duties provided such force was reasonably necessary in the execution of an act that they were required or authorized to do by law. Given what the officers had been told of her driving, and what some of them gleaned first-hand from their own observations, the Complainant constituted a danger on the roadway, and she was subject to arrest.
Thereafter, I am satisfied that the subject officials used no more force than was necessary to take her into custody. There was some urgency in moving quickly to effect the Complainant’s arrest as her immediate past conduct had placed in jeopardy the lives and safety of members of the public. In the circumstances, having failed to open the driver’s door and then turn off the vehicle’s engine when directed, I am unable to reasonably conclude that the force used by the officers - pulling the Complainant from her vehicle onto the ground – was needless when the Complainant failed to quickly exit her vehicle. In this regard, it should be noted that no blows of any kind were struck by any of the arresting officers.
In the result, while I accept that the Complainant’s injury was likely incurred at some point during her removal from the vehicle, there are no grounds to proceed with criminal charges as I am satisfied that the officers comported themselves lawfully throughout the engagement.
Date: June 11, 2021
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) The following records contain sensitive personal information and are not being released pursuant to section 34(2) of the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019. The material portions of the records are summarized below. [Back to text]
The signed English original report is authoritative, and any discrepancy between that report and the French and English online versions should be resolved in favour of the original English report.