SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-OCI-276
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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 section 14 (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 23-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIU On October 24, 2022, at 11:39 p.m., the Brantford Police Service (BPS) notified the SIU of the Complainant’s injury.
According to the BPS, on October 24, 2022, at 10:22 p.m., Civilian Witness (CW) #2 called police requesting assistance with the Complainant. When police officers arrived at the residence, they located the Complainant on the roof. Police officers shone a flashlight towards him, and the Complainant jumped and struck his head. He was taken to the hospital in Brantford to be treated for an obvious head injury.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 10/25/2022 at 12:29 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 10/25/2022 at 2:40 a.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):23-year-old male not interviewed; medical records obtained and reviewed
The Complainant was not interviewed due to the nature of his injury.
Civilian WitnessesCW #1 Not interviewed; next-of-kin
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
The civilian witnesses were interviewed on October 25, 2022, and October 29, 2022.
Subject OfficialsSO #1 Declined interview, as is the subject official’s legal right; notes received and reviewed
SO #2 Declined interview, as is the subject official’s legal right; notes received and reviewed
Witness OfficialsWO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
The witness officials were interviewed on November 4, 2022.
The Scene The events in question occurred on and around a residence in the area of Grey Street and Murray Street, Brantford.
Upon the arrival of the SIU, the scene was found properly secured and guarded by BPS police officers.
The residence had a driveway, which was poorly lit. At the rear of the residence on the second floor was a dormer-style window on the roof. The window was open, and the dormer roof was flat compared to the roof profile. From the dormer, the roof pitched down towards the edge and eaves troughing over-hanging the driveway. The height measured from the driveway surface to the eaves troughing was measured and found to be 3.5 metres.
On the driveway towards the rear of the residence was an area suspected to be the area of impact where the Complainant had fallen. Within this area was a pooling of suspected blood, medical debris, a pair of shoes, and a BPS first-aid kit from the BPS vehicle operated by SO #2.
A bedroom was connected to the dormer window described previously.
During the SIU forensic examination of the scene, and with the requested assistance of WO #3, WO #3 was able to climb out the dormer window onto the roof and retrieve a shower curtain and cellphone from the roof of the dormer. These items were examined by the SIU forensic investigators but not photographed and retained as they were of no probative value.
Physical Evidence The SIU forensic investigator collected a swab of the red, pooled substance that was suspected to be blood.
Forensic Evidence SIU investigators were provided with the GPS data associated with the cruisers of SO #1 and SO #2. The following is a summary of the information derived from the data.
On October 24, 2023, at 10:34:35 p.m., SO #2 arrived at the scene. His police vehicle remained stationary until 11:24 p.m.
At 10:36:32 p.m., SO #1 arrived at the residence. His police vehicle remained stationary until 11:17 p.m.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
BPS Communications Audio RecordingsThe following is a summary of the pertinent police communications in connection with the incident.
On October 24, 2022, at 10:32 p.m., the BPS received a telephone call from CW #2, the mother of the Complainant. The call was three minutes and 36 seconds in duration. CW #2 reported that she believed her son was not in his right mind, “high”, and on the roof near the back of their residence in Brantford. She said he had been on the roof for more than thirty minutes and was saying that the army and helicopters were coming to get him. She was not sure what would happen if police officers arrived at the house, adding that he might jump if he saw them. When asked if the Complainant was in possession of any weapons, CW #2 stated that it was too dark outside for her to see if he had anything with him. The communications operator said that police officers were on their way and CW #2 stated she was concerned about their attendance as the Complainant had said that he would kill himself by jumping off the roof. A dog [believed to be one of the family pets] was heard barking in the background of the recorded telephone call as the communications operator asked CW #2 to go outside and speak with the police officer who had already arrived at the residence.
On October 24, 2022, starting at about 10:32:44 p.m., the police communications operator radioed that a male party [now known to be the Complainant] was on the roof, “high”, and refusing to come down. He believed a group of army personnel or a helicopter was coming to pick him up. No report of weapons involvement had been received. SO #1 and SO #2 acknowledged receipt of the radio-transmitted information.
Starting at about 10:34:36 p.m., the communications operator relayed that the Complainant was reported to have said that he was going to kill himself if “they” [meaning police], the army, and helicopters came to his house.
Starting at about 10:34:47 p.m., the communications operator asked if SO #1 and SO #2 would like the fire department to respond with a ladder.
Starting at about 10:34:52 p.m., a male voice [believed to be SO #2] was heard stating, “He just jumped. Get EMS here right away.” The communications operator acknowledged the request in the next transmission.
Starting at about 10:35:18 p.m., SO #2 advised the Complainant was bleeding from the head having done a complete dive right off the top of the roof.
Starting at about 10:50:30 p.m., a sergeant indicated that the Complainant was being taken to Brantford General Hospital (BGH) by ambulance with SO #2 aboard.
Starting at about 12:06:51 a.m., WO #2 updated the communications operator that she had spoken with the father [known to be CW #1] and he informed her that the Complainant’s mental health had been deteriorating for the week.
Materials Obtained from Police ServiceThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the BPS:
- General Report – WO #2;
- Involved Person Report;
- Dispatch information;
- Shift Schedule for October 24, 2022;
- Communications recordings;
- GPS data relevant to the incident;
- Notes of SO #1;
- Notes of WO #3;
- Notes of SO #2;
- Procedure - Active Threat Incidents;
- Procedure - Crisis Negotiation;
- Procedure - Emergency Planning Procedures;
- Procedure - Emergency Response/Perimeter Control and Containment/Tactical Units/Hostage Rescue;
- Procedure - Major Incident Command;
- Procedure - Police Response to Persons with Mental Illness or Emotionally Disturbed;
- Procedure - School Lockdown;
- Procedure - Supervision;
- The Complainant - BPS Involvement;
- Supplementary Report – WO #1;
- Supplementary Report – WO #2;
- Training Records – SO #1; and
- Training Records – SO #2.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the following other sources:
- Brant Community Health System BGH records; and
- Hamilton Health Sciences HGH records.
In the evening of October 24, 2022, the Complainant’s mother called police to report that her son was on the roof of their home and threatening to end his life. She noted that he was of unsound mind at the time, and she was concerned that the attendance of police might provoke him to jump. This information was conveyed to police officers dispatched to attend at the residence.
Within moments of the call to police, SO #2 arrived at the residence followed closely by SO #1. It was shortly after 10:30 p.m. at the time. Appreciating that their presence might precipitate rash behaviour by the Complainant, they arrived on scene without the use of their emergency equipment. The officers walked up to the property and began to scan its roof for signs of the Complainant. SO #2 shone his flashlight to assist in the process and caught a glimpse of the Complainant, who turned and looked at the officer briefly before running towards the corner of the roof and leaping headfirst to the ground below – a distance of about three-and-a-half metres.
SO #2 radioed that the Complainant had just jumped and requested an ambulance. Both officers made their way to the Complainant, who was in and out of consciousness, and applied first-aid pending the arrival of paramedics.
The Complainant was transported to hospital where he was treated for brain injury and multiple fractures.
Sections 219 and 221, Criminal Code -- Criminal negligence causing bodily harm
(a) in doing anything, or(b) in omitting to do anything that it is his duty to do,
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years; or(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.
Analysis and Director's Decision
The offence that arises for consideration is criminal negligence causing bodily harm contrary to section 221 of the Criminal Code. The offence is reserved for serious cases of neglect that demonstrate a wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons. It is predicated, in part, on conduct that amounts to a marked and substantial 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 a want of care on the part of SO #2 or SO #1, sufficiently egregious to attract criminal sanction, that caused or contributed to the Complainant’s injuries. In my view, there was not.
SO #2 and SO #1 were lawfully placed and engaged in the reasonable discharge of their duties when they attended at the residence to assist with the Complainant. They were aware of a risk that their mere presence might precipitate self-harm by the Complainant. On the other hand, the Complainant had been on the roof of the residence for a period and there was a growing concern that, left to his own devices and given his troubled state of mind, he would jump anyway. In the circumstances, I am unable to fault the officers for answering the call. They also attempted to mitigate the risks associated with their arrival by travelling to the scene as discretely as possible. Once on scene, the officers had no time to engage with the Complainant in any meaningful way before he jumped within a minute or two of their arrival. It may be that the use of the flashlight was the final catalyst for the Complainant’s fateful decision. Be that as it may, I am unable to fault the officer for using it; it was dark outside and there was a need to locate the Complainant as soon as possible.
In the result, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that either subject official transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law in their brief engagement with the Complainant, notwithstanding his fall and unfortunate injuries. As such, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.
Date: February 21, 2023
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) The information in this section reflects the information received by the SIU at the time of notification and does not necessarily reflect the SIU’s finding of facts following its investigation. [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.