SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OVI-317
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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.
- 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 investigationsInformation 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 27-year-old woman (the “Complainant”) suffered.
Notification of the SIUOn September 23, 2021 at 7:07 a.m., the Chatham-Kent Police Service (CKPS) contacted the SIU and reported the following.
At approximately 12:30 a.m., that morning, CKPS responded to a home invasion at an address in Shrewsbury. While en route to the call, a CKPS officer spotted an oncoming vehicle passing him. The CKPS officer turned around with the intention of trying to stop the vehicle. When he got turned around, the officer could see the vehicle’s taillights ahead and thought that the vehicle had pulled over for him. As he got closer, he realized that the vehicle had rolled in the ditch. The male driver had fled the vehicle on foot. Two female passengers were still in the vehicle and were transported to Chatham-Kent Health Alliance with undetermined injuries.
At 7:53 a.m., CKPS further advised that one female victim required surgery for a hip injury.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 09/23/2021 at 8:15 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 09/23/2021 at 10:45 a.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 2
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1
Number of SIU Collision Reconstructionist Assigned: 1
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):27-year-old female interviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on September 24, 2021.
Civilian Witnesses (CW)CW #1 Declined to be interviewed
CW #2 Not interviewed (Next-of-kin)
CW #3 Not interviewed (Next-of-kin)
CW #4 Interviewed
CW #5 Interviewed
The civilian witnesses were interviewed between September 23 and 30, 2021.
Subject Official (SO)SO Declined interview, as is the subject official’s legal right. Notes and statement received and reviewed.
Witness Officials (WO)WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
The witness officials were interviewed between September 27 and 29, 2021.
The Scene The collision occurred on Kent Bridge Road (Regional Road 15) between Highway #3 and Ridge Line (Regional Road 19). Kent Bridge Road was a straight two-lane country road.
Figure 1 – The collision scene
Route – Global Positioning System (GPS) DataOn September 24, 2021, the CKPS provided the SIU with GPS data for the SO’s CKPS cruiser. The data were already plotted and no raw data was provided.  An SIU investigator reviewed the data utilizing Google Maps. The distance that the SO travelled was about 5.19 kilometres from the point at which he did a U-turn on Kent Bridge Road near Talbot Trail. Google Earth showed this road to be a straight roadway in a rural area with few houses.
SIU Collision Reconstructionist ReportThe findings of the SIU collision reconstructionist were as follows:
- At the time of the collision the roads were wet. It was raining and dark outside.
- The collision occurred on Kent Bridge Road (Regional Road 15) between Highway #3 and Ridge Line (Regional Road 19).
- A Ford Fusion was northbound near #20096 Kent Bridge Road. About 900 metres south of Ridge Line, it moved to the right and travelled partially on the east gravel shoulder for about 100 metres. [This was consistent with information suggesting the driver was in control of the Ford Fusion and had moved over slightly as an ambulance passed by southbound.]
- The Ford Fusion re-entered the roadway and travelled about 72 metres during which the driver lost control. Though no tire marks were left on the roadway due to the wet conditions, the Ford Fusion rotated (likely clockwise, consistent with the driver having over-corrected when the Ford came back onto the asphalt from the gravel).
- The Ford Fusion then veered sharply back to the east, across the east gravel shoulder and then sideways through the wet grass on the property at 20113 Kent Bridge Road, leaving “furrow” marks in the ground from the tires for about 32 metres.
- The Ford Fusion then “tripped” sideways and rolled over. The Ford Fusion came to rest on its roof, after sliding and rolling over, about 50 metres northeast of where it had left the road.
- The Ford Fusion sustained damage consistent with the rollover but had no other damage.
- The Ford Fusion had no damage that was consistent with having contacted any other vehicle during this collision.
- The SO brought his police vehicle to a stop in the road about parallel with the Ford. The police vehicle remained parked at the scene during the SIU scene investigation.
- The SO’s police vehicle was examined and photographed by both SIU and CKPS, and presented with no damage.
- The GPS data from the SO’s police vehicle was consistent with the SO having travelled southbound on Kent Bridge Road at a high rate of speed (consistent with his response to a priority radio call), having executed a U-turn in the area of Kent Bridge Road and Highway #3, and then having travelled northbound at a high rate of speed consistent with attempting to “catch up” to the Ford Fusion.
- The physical evidence at the scene was consistent with the motor vehicle collision having involved a single motor vehicle only. The single motor vehicle was the Ford Fusion in which the Complainant was an occupant.
- The physical evidence at the scene, as well as the evidence gathered during the investigation and review, was consistent with the police vehicle driven by the SO not being directly involved in the collision, and there having been no contact between the Ford Fusion and the police vehicle driven by the SO before or during the collision.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
Communications Recordings – 911 CallOn September 23, 2021 at 12:30 a.m., a woman called 911. She was fearful and crying, and what sounded like furniture could be heard breaking in the background. She stated they were trying to kill her and had forced their way into her apartment. A male voice was heard in the background. The woman stated the suspects had bashed her head in.
The woman was able to force the Complainant and the other suspects out of her apartment, but did not identify the other suspects. As the Complainant was being forced out of the apartment, the Complainant told her she was going to get a shotgun from the trunk of her vehicle.
Communications Recordings – DispatchWO #1 acknowledged a call for a disturbance at a residence in Blenheim - the residence of the 911 caller. A male voice could be heard in the background. The SO asked to assist and said that he knew the residence.
Dispatch stated the suspect [now known to be the Complainant] had fled the residence and had a shotgun in the trunk of her vehicle, and that the 911 caller might be intoxicated as she was hard to understand. The SO acknowledged the call. He could not log onto his MDT (mobile data terminal). The call was dropped between the 911 caller and the call-taker.
WO #2 advised no vehicles were at the scene, and that the suspects might have fled.
The SO broadcasted that he had the vehicle and it had taken off from him heading northbound on Kent Bridge Road. The SO announced he was in pursuit, and his siren was audible. He stated he was northbound on Kent Bridge Road.
WO #3 asked the reason for the pursuit and the SO stated it was because of the 911 call disturbance call, and the possibility of a firearm in the vehicle.
WO #2 broadcasted there was a scuffle inside the apartment, and he could not get anyone to answer the door.
The SO broadcasted he was coming up to Ridge Line. Dispatch asked for the speeds involved. The SO stated the suspect vehicle had stopped and a suspect was running. The SO requested Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for south of Ridge Line. WO #3 asked if anyone was closer.
WO #2 broadcasted he could hear crying in the apartment, and he would breach the door. WO #1 asked if she was required at Ridge Line and was told, “Yes.”
The SO stated he had two females [now known to be the Complainant and CW #1], including the Complainant.
WO #3 stated he was having major issues with his radio.
WO #1 broadcasted that the Complainant could be arrested for assault cause bodily harm.
The SO stated the Complainant had a hip injury. The SO further advised one suspect had fled on foot, eastbound, and that it was a motor vehicle collision.
Dispatch asked if the SO knew who had fled and if he needed a canine unit.
The plate number of the subject vehicle was given. The dispatcher broadcasted the plate was for a silver Ford and the name of the registered owner.
The remaining transmissions were of the attendance of the canine unit, and a unit being requested to attend the residence of the registered vehicle owner.
SpeedsInformation from the Computer-assisted Dispatch (CAD) and GPS data associated with the SO’s CKPS vehicle established the following.
The SO began heading to the residence at 12:33 a.m., and reached a top speed of 168 km/h at 12:35 a.m.
The SO slowed to 25 km/h at about 12:39 a.m. when he broadcasted that he saw the suspect vehicle heading northbound on Kent Bridge Road.
At about 12:39:39 a.m., the SO broadcasted that the vehicle, “Took off on me,” and that he was, “Now in pursuit.” He referenced the possibility of a suspect with a firearm in the vehicle as the reason for the pursuit.
After completing the U-turn at 12:39 a.m., the SO reached a high speed of 166 km/h initially, and then travelled at about 157 km/h for two minutes when he broadcasted that the fleeing vehicle had stopped at 12:41 a.m., at which point he requested EMS.
Materials Obtained from Police ServiceUpon request, the SIU received the following materials and documents from CKPS between September 24, 2021 and October 26, 2021:
- Communications Recordings;
- CAD Event Chronology Report;
- Collision Reconstruction Field notes-WO #4;
- Crash Data Retrieval-Ford Fusion Download;
- Crash Data Retrieval-Police Vehicle Download;
- General Occurrence Report;
- GPS Report for the SO’s Police Vehicle;
- Notes- the SO;
- Notes-WO #1;
- Notes-WO #3;
- Notes-WO #2;
- Police Vehicle Download;
- Statement of the SO;
- Supplementary Occurrence Report-Charge Synopsis;
- Will Say-WO #1;
- Will Say-WO #2; and
- Will State-WO #3.
At about 12:30 a.m. of September 23, 2021, a woman called 911 to report a home invasion in progress at her residence in Blenheim. One of the intruders was identified by the caller as possibly being the Complainant. Officers were dispatched to the address.
While travelling to the scene southbound on Kent Bridge Road, the SO observed a vehicle – a silver Ford Fusion – travelling northbound towards him pull over in the area of Talbot Trail. By this time, officers responding to the scene had been informed that the intruders had fled the residence in a vehicle that contained a firearm. The SO drove up beside the Ford only to see it re-enter the road and accelerate away northward. The SO executed a U-turn and pursued the Ford on Kent Bridge Road.
Within a couple of minutes, and about a kilometre south of Ridge Line, the Ford came upon an ambulance travelling south with its lights and siren on. The driver of the Ford travelled slightly onto the gravel shoulder on the east side of the roadway as the vehicles passed each other, thereafter re-entering the lane and losing control. The Ford slid off towards the east side of the road, rolled over a couple of times, and came to rest on its roof beside a row of trees on the property at 20113 Kent Bridge Road. A male occupant of the vehicle quickly exited the wreckage and fled eastward.
The SO, who was about four car lengths away from the Ford at the time of the collision, brought his cruiser to a stop on the roadway beside the crash site. He went to render assistance to the remaining occupants of the vehicle – the Complainant and CW #1 – and radioed for paramedics.
Though neither the Complainant nor CW #1 cooperated with the SIU, the investigation suggests that the Complainant suffered a dislocated hip in the collision for which she may or may not have undergone surgery.
Section 320.13, Criminal Code – Dangerous operation causing bodily harm
Section 128(13)(b), Highway Traffic Act – Police vehicles and speeding
(b) a police department vehicle being used in the lawful performance of a police officer’s duties.
Analysis and Director's Decision
The offence that arises for consideration is dangerous driving causing bodily harm contrary to section 320.13(2) of the Criminal Code. Liability for the offence is premised, in part, on conduct that amounts to a marked departure from the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in the circumstances. In the instant case, the question is whether there was any want of care in the manner in which the SO pursued the Ford, that caused or contributed to the accident, sufficiently egregious to attract criminal sanction. In my view, there was not.
The SO was in the lawful execution of his duties when he decided to pursue the Ford. By that time, the officer was aware the home invaders had fled the residence travelling eastbound in a vehicle. In the circumstances, when the driver of the Ford, having initially pulled over, decided to accelerate away from the SO, the officer had grounds to believe he and the vehicle’s passengers were freshly fleeing from the scene of the crime.
As for the manner in which the officer comported himself during the pursuit, I am satisfied that the SO demonstrated due care and regard for public safety throughout. The only real issue was with respect to his speeds during the stretch of time and distance that marked the pursuit – about five kilometres and two minutes – at times as high as 166 km/h. This was significantly in excess of the 80 km/h speed limit. On the other hand, the SO was travelling over a straight road in good repair with very little traffic and his emergency lights and siren on. He was also an officer in the lawful performance of his duties and therefore exempt from the speed limitations pursuant to section 128(13)(b) of the Highway Traffic Act. While the provision does not grant officers free rein to speed as they wish without regard to public safety, it is an important consideration in the reasonableness analysis, particularly in a case, like this one, in which the officer is pursuing in connection with a very serious criminal offence. Finally, there is no evidence that the officer’s speed directly imperiled other users of the roadway. On this record, I am satisfied on balance that the SO did not transgress the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law as he pursued the Ford.
In the result, as there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO conducted himself other than lawfully throughout his brief engagement with the Ford Fusion, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.
Date: January 20, 2022
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) The police service did not have a player than could be shared externally. [Back to text]
- 2) 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.