SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-OCI-265
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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 injuries of a 45-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn October 7, 2022, at about 11:33 a.m., the Complainant made an online complaint to the SIU.
The Complainant advised that on October 1, 2022, between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m., he was stopped by a Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) police officer on Walkers Line, near Donnic Drive. He was arrested and pushed hard against a police cruiser, at which point he heard a crack sound and felt a sharp pain. The next day, the Complainant continued to feel the pain and at first thought it was just muscle pain. Several days later, he attended Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) and was diagnosed with rib fractures.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 10/11/2022 at 10:55 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 10/11/2022 at 11:35 a.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 0
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):45-year-old male; interviewed; medical records obtained and reviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on October 15, 2022.
Witness Officials (WO)WO #1 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #2 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #3 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed
The Scene The events in question occurred on Donnic Drive, just east of Walkers Line, Burlington.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [fn]1[/fn]
911 Call to HRPSThe following is a summary of the 911 call to police in connection with the incident.
Starting at about 7:14 a.m., on October 1, 2022, a man called 911 and advised the operator of a drunk driver. The 911 caller had noticed a white Chrysler minivan (now known to have been driven by the Complainant) in front of him on Britannia Road in Milton, travelling 10 to 20 km/h below the speed limit.
The 911 caller advised the operator that the Complainant had turned southbound onto Appleby Line, entered a roundabout, jumped the curb, and almost hit a hydro pole. He was swerving from side to side on the road and had turned into the Trinity Baptist Church parking lot located on the west side of Appleby Line. It appeared to the 911 caller that the Complainant had turned around in the parking lot and then turned west on 2 Side Road, almost hitting another hydro pole.
The Complainant was then reported as flying ahead of the caller and turning southbound on Walkers Line.
The 911 caller was advised by the operator that police officers were on the way, and he did not need to follow or stay on the line any longer.
HRPS Radio CommunicationsThe following is a summary of the radio communications in connection with the incident.
Starting at about 7:17 a.m., HRPS dispatch asked that any available units be on the lookout for a possible impaired driver travelling southbound on Appleby Road, from Britannia Road.
WO #1 advised she would attend the area.
HRPS dispatch advised the involved vehicle was a Chrysler white minivan, which was driving under the posted speed limit. The minivan had been swerving and almost hit a telephone pole. The vehicle was registered to the Complainant. The vehicle was subsequently reported to have left Appleby Road, and turned onto the Trinity Baptist Church parking lot.
WO #1 reported she was travelling westbound on 2 Side Road from Appleby Line.
HRPS dispatch advised that the 911 caller was still following the white minivan, keeping a safe distance.
Starting at about 7:19 a.m., dispatch provided a description of the vehicle being operated by the 911 caller who was following the white minivan. The white minivan was said to have turned from 2 Side Road and was travelling southbound on Walkers Line.
WO #1 advised she had the white minivan stopped on Donnic Drive, just east of Walkers Line. WO #2 acknowledged WO #1.
WO #1 advised HRPS dispatch that everything was okay.
Starting at about 7:20 a.m., WO #2 advised she and WO #1 had a person in custody for the offence of ‘impaired driving’. WO #1 reported she would be transporting the Complainant to the HRPS station and WO #2 would follow her.
In-car Camera System (ICCS) FootageThe cruiser operated by WO #1 was equipped an ICCS system, which was activated at the time of the events in question. The following is a summary of the pertinent footage.
WO #1 followed a white van as it travelled and turned at various roads. The officer eventually activated her roof lights as she followed the white van and very briefly activated her siren.
The white van stopped on Donnic Drive, just after turning right at a stop sign. WO #1 stopped her HRPS cruiser behind the white van, exited and walked up the driver’s side of the white van. WO #1 then walked back towards her cruiser. Beside her, walking closer to the white van, was the Complainant. Both WO #1 and the Complainant walked through the area between the white van and the HRPS cruiser, towards the boulevard and out of sight.
A blue plastic box/kit was placed onto the right front hood of the HRPS cruiser. An instrument inside was moved by a partially seen person, believed to be WO #1. WO #1 removed a roadside screening device as well as a wrapped mouthpiece from the blue box and went out of sight. The roadside screening device was then placed back inside the blue box by WO #1.
The Complainant and WO #2 stood at the front of WO #1’s HRPS cruiser. The Complainant was not handcuffed. WO #2 stood on the right side of the Complainant, who was facing the hood of the HRPS cruiser. WO #1 stood on the left side or the Complainant. He held his hands together in front of him while both officers held his arms just above his elbows from their respective positions. The Complainant brought his hands down in front of his body and made a gesture extending them out front. The Complainant took one step forward and to his left towards the right front corner of the HRPS cruiser, while WO #1 and WO #2 had a grip on his upper arms. The Complainant stood close to the far right front area of the hood and was handcuffed by WO #1. There was no resistance to the handcuffing and the top half of the Complainant’s body did not contact WO #1’s HRPS cruiser.
WO #1 led the Complainant past the right front corner of the hood and out of view.
WO #1’s cruiser began moving, and she drove to the left of and past the Complainant’s white van. The trip lasted for 13:57 minutes, at which point the HRPS cruiser stopped.
The overhead door at the HRPS station opened and WO #1 drove the HRPS cruiser into the garage.
Materials Obtained from Police Service Upon request, the SIU received the following materials from the HRPS between October 12 and 18, 2022:
- Communications recordings;
- Occurrence Report;
- ICCS footage;
- Notes-WO #1;
- Notes-WO #2; and
- Notes-WO #3
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from other sources:
- The Complainant’s medical records from JBH; and
- Photograph from the Complainant of bruising to his torso.
In the morning of October 1, 2022, the Complainant was pulled over on Donnic Drive, Burlington, by WO #1. The police had received a 911 call from a motorist reporting that the Complainant, operating a white van, was possibly impaired. The caller had observed the Complainant driving erratically and almost colliding with a pole.
The Complainant refused to provide a breath sample and was arrested at the side of the road by WO #1. WO #2, who had arrived at the site of the stop, assisted with the Complainant’s arrest. The Complainant was handcuffed behind the back without incident and placed in the rear of WO #1’s cruiser for transport to the station.
Days after his release from custody, on October 5, 2022, the Complainant attended hospital and was diagnosed with two left-sided rib fractures.
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.
I am satisfied that the Complainant was subject to arrest for impaired driving and refusing to provide a breath sample. The 911 caller had observed indicia of impairment in the manner in which the van was being operated, and a bottle of alcohol was found in the van after the Complainant’s arrest.
As for the force used to effect the Complainant’s arrest, this was negligible and consisted of WO #1 and WO #2 taking hold of his arms, handcuffing him, and positioning the Complainant by the side of the hood of WO #1’s cruiser so he could be searched. There is no indication of any real force being brought to bear by the officers who dealt with the Complainant. Any suggestion that the Complainant was pushed against the hood of the cruiser is simply not borne out by the video evidence.
In the result, as there are no reasonable grounds to believe that any of the officers who dealt with the Complainant around the time of his arrest on October 1, 2022, comported themselves other than lawfully, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.
Date: February 3, 2023
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.