SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OCI-085
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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 the serious injury a 32-year-old man (the “Complainant”) suffered during an interaction with the police.
Notification of the SIUOn March 19, 2021 at 2:25 a.m., the Peel Regional Police (PRP) reported that the PRP had been called to search for a Mental Health Act patient who had eloped from the Mississauga General (Trillium) Hospital. Police officers located and returned the Complainant to the hospital. While assisting medical staff, officers restrained the Complainant and during the struggle the Complainant’s face struck a bedrail.
PRP identified the patient as the 32-year-old Complainant. The involved police officers were reported to be Subject Officials (SO) #1 and SO #2.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 03/19/2021 at 9:36 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 03/19/2021 at 1:47 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 0
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):32-year-old male interviewed, medical records obtained
The Complainant was interviewed on March 19, 2021.
Civilian Witness (CW)CW Interviewed
The civilian witness was interviewed on May 25, 2021.
Subject Officials SO #1 Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed
SO #2 Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
SO #1 was interviewed on June 11, 2021.
Witness Officials (WO)WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
WO #4 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
WO #1 and WO #2 were interviewed on April 8, 2021.
The Scene The scene was a single bed hospital room that was connected to the neighbouring room, with a curtain separating the rooms. SIU investigators arrived in the hospital room at 1:47 p.m. on March 19, 2021.
The hospital bed occupied by the Complainant had blood on the left side (looking at the bed) bedrail. This was the bedrail on which the Complainant reportedly struck his nose.
Computer-aided Dispatch (CAD) Report and Communications RecordingsThe CAD report indicated the PRP were contacted on March 18, 2021 at 5:27 p.m. A hospital employee reported a man who had been issued a Mental Health Act form had left the hospital at approximately 3:35 p.m. Although the Complainant reportedly had no diagnosed mental health issues, he was reportedly a harm to himself, based on his condition on admission to hospital.
At 5:38 p.m., a cellular telephone company reported the Complainant’s cellular telephone was in downtown Toronto.
At 5:43 p.m., a PRP officer reported he had just spoken to the Complainant, who was then in a vehicle on his way to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto.
At 6:31 p.m., the Complainant’s cellular telephone was again located, and it was still in downtown Toronto.
At 7:27 p.m., there was a notation in the CAD report that the Complainant stated he wished to keep drinking but he would want help once done his drinking.
The Complainant was located in downtown Toronto.
At 8:40 p.m., PRP officers were on their way to Mississauga General Hospital to meet with TPS officers.
PRP officers later asked for a sergeant to attend the hospital.
In-car Camera System (ICCS) Recordings On June 1, 2021, the SIU obtained ICCS recordings from the TPS vehicle operated by WO #4 and WO #3.
On March 18, 2021 at 8:22 p.m., the Complainant entered the rear seat of the TPS SUV. The Complainant was not handcuffed. The Complainant lamented the fact that he was ill and said he just needed to get some help. He stated he was supposed to go to the nearest hospital, and he was supposed to speak to a specific officer, whom he identified by first name. The Complainant also asked if he would be permitted to have a cigarette before he went into the hospital, and one of the TPS officers responded it would be up to the PRP officers.
The Complainant asked to be taken to St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. WO #4 and WO #3 explained it was not their case, and that they were simply transporting the Complainant to the hospital.
At 8:53 p.m., WO #4 and WO #3 arrived at Mississauga General (Trillium) Hospital. They turned the Complainant over to the PRP and the PRP officer handcuffed the Complainant. WO #4 and WO #3 re-entered their vehicle and the recording ended.
Materials Obtained from Police ServiceUpon request, the SIU received the following materials and documents from the PRP between March 30, 2021 and June 1, 2021:
• ICCS recordings of the Complainant’s transport to the Mississauga General Hospital;
• CAD Report;
• Radio Communications;
• Notes of the SO;
• Notes of WO #4;
• Notes of WO #3;
• Notes of WO #2;
• Notes of WO #1;
• Occurrence Report;
• Person Details; and
• Communications Audio Reports (x2).
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU also received the following record from other sources on April 28, 2021:
• A copy of the Complainant’s medical records from the Trillium Health Partners - Mississauga Campus.
In the evening of the day in question, the Complainant, while involuntarily admitted at hospital in Mississauga under the Mental Health Act, became involved in a physical altercation with SO #1 and SO #2. The officers quickly subdued the Complainant and handcuffed his hands behind his back. Diagnostic imaging performed early the next day would confirm that the Complainant had suffered a broken nose in the fray.
The Complainant had been admitted to hospital earlier that afternoon having consumed copious amounts of alcohol. Despite this, the Complainant managed to walk away from the hospital and make his way to Toronto, where he continued to drink. The hospital contacted the police seeking assistance with the Complainant’s return. In due course, with the assistance of TPS officers, the Complainant was located and returned to the hospital where SO #1 and SO #2 took custody of him at the hospital’s emergency entrance, handcuffing his hands behind his back. Once returned to his hospital room, the officers removed the handcuffs from the Complainant.
The Complainant became agitated, indicating to the officers that he would be leaving again and that they could not stop him. He rose from his seat and pulled open a curtain dividing the room thinking he was exiting. In fact, there was another bed on the other side containing a patient. The Complainant apologized to the individual, returned to his side of the curtain, and moved towards the officers. SO #1 and SO #2 grabbed the Complainant’s left and right arms, respectively, to prevent any further attempt at escape. When the Complainant struggled to release the officers’ hold, SO #1 and SO #2 forced him front first onto the bed. In the process, the bridge of the Complainant’s nose struck a raised bedrail, causing it to fracture. The Complainant was secured in handcuffs once again.
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 authorized or required to do by law. The Complainant was AWOL from hospital having been admitted on the authority of the Mental Health Act, and the officers who dealt with him, including SO #1 and SO #2, were acting in the discharge of their lawful duties when they located and returned him to hospital.
I am also satisfied that the force used by the officers was no more than was reasonably necessary to effect their purpose. The Complainant had already left the hospital without permission earlier in the day and was indicating he intended to do so again, even if he had to physically make his way through the officers. In the circumstances, when the Complainant rose to his feet and attempted to do just that, SO #1 and SO #2 were within their rights in acting to prevent that from happening. They grabbed hold of the Complainant’s arms, a moderate and sensible intercession to thwart his continued movement. Thereafter, when the Complainant struggled to free himself, the officers were within their rights to force him onto the bed. With the Complainant in a prone position on the bed, the officers would be in a better position to manage any further resistance and quickly restrain him in handcuffs. It is regrettable that the Complainant struck his nose on a raised bedrail, but I am unable to attribute the injury to any wanton conduct on the part of the officers. Rather, the injury was in all likelihood the inadvertent result of a fluid and dynamic situation. It does not appear that any blows were struck by the officers.
For the foregoing reasons, I am unable to reasonably conclude that either of SO #1 and SO #2 comported themselves unlawfully throughout their engagement with the Complainant. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with charges in this case, and the file is closed.
Date: July 15, 2021
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
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.