SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OCI-099


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Mandate of the SIU

The Special Investigations Unit is a civilian law enforcement agency that investigates incidents involving an official where there has been death, serious injury, the discharge of a firearm at a person or an allegation of sexual assault. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019 (SIU Act), officials are defined as police officers, special constables of the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers under the Legislative Assembly Act. The SIU’s jurisdiction covers more than 50 municipal, regional and provincial police services across Ontario.

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.

Information Restrictions

Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019

Pursuant 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 Act

Pursuant 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, 2004

Pursuant 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.

Mandate Engaged

Pursuant to section 15 of the SIU Act, the SIU may investigate the conduct of officials, be they police officers, special constables of the Niagara Parks Commission or peace officers under the Legislative Assembly Act, that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault or the discharge of a firearm at a person.

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 injuries a 47-year-old man (the “Complainant”) suffered.

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On April 2, 2021, at 11:46 a.m., the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) notified the SIU of the Complainant’s injury.

According to HRPS, on April 1, 2021, the HRPS District Response Team (DRT) attended Mississauga to arrest the Complainant. The Complainant refused to come out of his residence. The HRPS DRT applied for a ‘Feeney’ warrant [1] and it was granted.

HRPS Tactical Rescue Unit (TRU) police officers arrived at the Complainant’s residence and set up a perimeter. At some point, the Complainant came out for a cigarette and was apprehended.

The Complainant complained of sore right ribs and was transported to the hospital. Due to a COVID-19 protocol, the Complainant was not diagnosed with any injuries until April 2, 2021, at approximately 6:00 a.m. He was diagnosed with fractures of the fifth and seventh ribs on his right side.

It was learned that the Complainant was involved in a motor vehicle collision on November 26, 2020, and that he had sustained the fracture of his seventh rib at that time. It was unclear whether his arrest on April 1, 2021, was the source of his fifth rib fracture and / or a reinjury of his seventh rib.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched:     04/02/2021 at 12:41 p.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene:     04/02/2021 at 7:11 p.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned:     3

Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned:     1

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

47-year-old male interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on June 2, 2021.

Subject Official (SO)

SO     Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right

Witness Officials (WO)

WO #1     Interviewed

WO #2     Interviewed

WO #3     Interviewed

WO #4     Interviewed

WO #5     Interviewed

The witness officials were interviewed between June 23, 2021 and July 13, 2021.


The Scene 

The investigation revealed that the Complainant was arrested inside his residence. The flooring material on which the Complainant was grounded and held appeared be ceramic or stone tiles.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU received the following materials and documents from the HRPS between May 19, 2021 and June 29, 2021:

• Use of Force Report;
• Communications Audio Recordings;
• Complainant Details;
• Incident Details;
• Motor Vehicle Collision Report;
• Notes-WO #2;
• Notes-WO #1;
• Notes-WO #5;
• Notes-WO #4;
• Notes-WO #3;
• Occurrence Reports (x2);
• Use of Force Reports (x2); and
• Warrant for Arrest.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU received the following records from other sources on July 7, 2021:

• Medical Records of the Complainant from the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital.

Incident Narrative

The following scenario emerges from the evidence collected by the SIU, which included interviews with the Complainant and police officers who participated in the arrest. As was his legal right, the SO chose not to interview with the SIU or authorize the release of his notes.

In the evening of April 1, 2021, a team of HRPS tactical officers travelled to a residence in Mississauga to effect the Complainant’s arrest for an incident of impaired driving months earlier in Halton. Earlier in the day, an officer had attended at the residence and endeavoured to arrest the Complainant. As the Complainant was in the house and had refused to surrender to arrest, the police decided to apply for a Feeney warrant. The warrant was obtained at about 5:40 p.m.

At about 8:00 p.m., with the tactical team staged outside the house, the Complainant stepped onto the front porch of the residence. Further to a plan that had been developed, whereby the officers would rush at the Complainant once out of the house, the team moved quickly toward the Complainant while one of their members – WO #2 – deployed a distractionary device on the lawn in front of the entrance door.

The lead officer in the stack formation, WO #4, made contact with the Complainant with the shield he was carrying in and around the open threshold of the door. The Complainant, who was backtracking into the home, was pushed up against the mirrored doors of a closet just inside the entrance. Shortly thereafter, WO #5 and the SO grabbed hold of the Complainant and forced him front first onto the ground. The officers were able to quickly wrest control of the Complainant’s arms out from under his torso and position them behind his back, where they were secured in restraints.

Following his arrest, the Complainant was lifted to his feet, lodged in a police cruiser, and taken to the police station. He complained of pain to his right side and was subsequently taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with several right-sided rib fractures.

Relevant Legislation

Section 25(1), Criminal Code -- Protection of persons acting under authority

25 (1) Every one who is required or authorized by law to do anything in the administration or enforcement of the law
(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,
is, if he acts on reasonable grounds, justified in doing what he is required or authorized to do and in using as much force as is necessary for that purpose.

Analysis and Director's Decision

Following his arrest by HRPS officers on April 1, 2021, the Complainant was taken to hospital where, early the next morning, he was diagnosed with multiple right-sided rib fractures. One of the arresting officers – the SO – was identified as the subject official for purposes of the SIU investigation. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO committed a criminal offence in connection with the Complainant’s arrest and injuries.

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 police had obtained a Feeney warrant to enter into the residence to arrest the Complainant, and the tactical team, of which the SO was a member, was within its rights in moving to take the Complainant into custody.

Thereafter, I am unable to reasonably conclude that any of the officers involved in the Complainant’s arrest, including the SO, used excessive force. The extent of force used against the Complainant was in forcing him up against the closet just inside the doorway and then down onto the ground, after which the Complainant was pinned to the ground momentarily in a prone position by WO #4 and his shield as the SO and WO #5 wrestled his arms behind his back and handcuffed them. Given the Complainant’s history of firearms offences, the officers had cause to want to overwhelm the Complainant and place him in a disadvantageous position as soon as possible to mitigate the risk of weapons being brought to bear. In so doing, it is noteworthy that no blows of any kind were struck by the officers.

In the result, while I accept that one or more of the Complainant’s fractured ribs occurred in the course of the force that was used to take him into custody, [2] there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO or the other involved officers conducted themselves unlawfully in the course of this incident. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges, and the file is closed.

Date: July 28, 2021

Electronically approved by

Joseph Martino
Special Investigations Unit


  • 1) Obtained via the scheme set out in section 529 to 529.5 of the Criminal Code, and named after the Supreme Court of Canada decision, R. v. Feeney, [1997] 2 SCR 13, a Feeney warrant authorizes the forcible entry by police officers into a dwelling-house to effect an arrest. [Back to text]
  • 2) It appears that one or more of the Complainant’s rib fractures may have been caused in a motor vehicle accident in November 2020. [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.