SIU Director’s Report - Case # 23-OCI-495


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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 Personal Privacy Act

Pursuant 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.

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 injury of a 15-year-old male (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU[1]

On December 1, 2023, at 7:28 a.m., the York Regional Police (YRP) notified the SIU of an injury to the 15-year-old Complainant.

According to the YRP, on December 1, 2023, at 5:30 a.m., police officers responded to a call involving a Jeep and a Maserati driving tandem on Highway 27. Police officers followed the vehicles southbound on Highway 27 to Steeles Avenue, where they were able to box the Jeep in. The Maserati fled. There was no contact between police vehicles and the Jeep. The Jeep’s driver, the Complainant, fled the vehicle on foot and was taken down in a nearby ditch. An ambulance responded and advised that the Complainant had suffered a fractured arm. He was transported to Cortellucci Hospital (CH) and was awaiting treatment.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 2023/12/01 at 7:56 a.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 2023/12/01 at 11:13 p.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3

Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 0

Number of SIU Collision Reconstructionists Assigned: 0

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

15-year-old male; interviewed; medical records obtained and reviewed

The Complainant was interviewed on December 1, 2023.

Subject Officials (SO)

SO #1 Interviewed, but declined to submit notes, as is the subject official’s legal right

SO #2 Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right

The subject official was interviewed on January 23, 2024.

Witness Officials (WO)

WO #1 Interviewed; notes received and reviewed

WO #2 Interviewed; notes received and reviewed

The witness officials were interviewed on December 15, 2023.


The Scene

The events in question transpired on and around a lawn field at the northeast corner of the intersection of Highway 27 and Steeles Avenue West, Vaughan.

The intersection of Steeles Avenue West and Highway 27 was captured by a YRP photographer during daylight hours after the arrest. The image below captured the northeast corner of Steeles Avenue West and Highway 27, looking south from the northbound lanes of Highway 27, north of the intersection.

Figure 1 - Northeast corner of the intersection of Highway 27 and Steeles Avenue West

Figure 1 - Northeast corner of the intersection of Highway 27 and Steeles Avenue West

The next image captured the area the Complainant was taken to the ground - looking north, from (essentially) the sidewalk on the north side of Steeles Avenue West, east of Highway 27.

Figure 2 – The grass area where the Complainant was arrested

Figure 2 – The grass area where the Complainant was arrested

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence[2]

Police Radio Communications Recordings

The recordings began with a dispatcher broadcasting information regarding the theft of a Jeep in progress.

SO #2 broadcast that he had spotted a Jeep matching the description of the stolen one southbound on Highway 27, with a Maserati trying to block him. He then broadcast the Jeep was “taking off”.

The dispatcher confirmed the Jeep and SO #2 were southbound on Highway 27, from Highway 7. Another police officer [believed to be WO #1] asked to be added to the call. SO #2 broadcast he could still see the Jeep, but the Maserati was still blocking.

A broadcast clarified the police helicopter was not available.

Broadcasts describing the location of the vehicles were made as was a plan to stop the Maserati. A police officer [now known to be WO #2] broadcast that the police officers were to attempt to stop the Maserati, but if they could not, they were to “let everything go”.

Information was broadcast that the Jeep was stopping at a red light, but the Maserati had not, followed by “foot pursuit … foot pursuit” and “we got him, we got him … one male in custody”. WO #2 asked if they had the Jeep. That was confirmed, followed by information that the Maserati had continued southbound. WO #2 asked if paramedics were required and was told no.

In-car Camera (ICC) Footage – SO #1

The recording, starting at 4:52:18 a.m., December 1, 2023, opened capturing footage out the front windshield as SO #1 followed a Jeep.

At 4:52:52 a.m., as the Jeep stopped in the left-hand through-lane at a red light at Steeles Avenue West, SO #1’s emergency lighting system activated. Another police vehicle [now known to be operated by SO #2] passed both SO #1’s police vehicle and the Jeep in the left-hand-turn lane and stopped in front of the Jeep.

At 4:52:57 a.m., the Complainant exited the driver’s door and ran east, out of camera view. SO #2 exited his police vehicle and followed.

At 4:57:13 a.m., the rear seat ICC recording, with audio, captured the Complainant seated in the rear of the police vehicle behind the driver seat, his hands handcuffed behind his back. The audio captured police radio broadcasts and, beginning at about 5:00 a.m., SO #1 telling the Complainant he was under arrest.

Beginning at about 5:08:30, the Complainant told SO #1 his hand was broken. SO #1 acknowledged. He made that complaint again at about 5:10 a.m.

Beginning at about 5:12 a.m., SO #1 accessed the rear prisoner compartment of his police vehicle and asked the Complainant what was wrong with his hand. The Complainant replied it was broken. SO #1 asked which hand, told the Complainant to hold on, and secured the passenger compartment of the vehicle.

Beginning at about 5:13 a.m., SO #1 returned. An off-camera voice told SO #1 an ambulance was on the way.

At about 5:34 a.m., the Complainant was taken from the back of the police vehicle having been told the ambulance had arrived and was going to assess him.

ICC Footage – WO #1

Recorded December 1, 2023, with audio, WO #1’s ICC did not capture the foot chase or the arrest. It did capture WO #1’s arrival at the scene post-arrest, and approaching SO #1 and SO #2 as they began to search the prone and handcuffed Complainant, east of the eastside of Highway 27, north of Steeles Avenue West.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU received the following materials from the YRP between December 1, 2023, and December 12, 2023:

  • Notes – WO #1;
  • Notes – WO #2;
  • Service policy – Arrest;
  • Service policy – Use of Force;
  • ICC footage;
  • Video footage from civilian of vehicle theft;
  • Photographs;
  • Computer-assisted dispatch report;
  • Call History Report; and
  • General Occurrence Report.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained the following records from other sources:

  • The Complainant’s medical records

Incident Narrative

The material events in question, clear on the evidence collected by the SIU, may briefly be summarized. As was his legal right, SO #2 did not agree an interview with the SIU or the release of his notes.

In the early morning of December 1, 2023, SO #2, having been made aware of the theft of a Jeep from an address in Vaughan, spotted the vehicle travelling south on Highway 27 from Rutherford Road. The officer followed the Jeep and was soon joined by SO #1, who fell in behind SO #2 south of Highway 7. When the Jeep came to a stop at a red light at Steeles Avenue West, SO #2 positioned his cruiser directly in front of the vehicle as SO #1 maneuvered his vehicle directly behind it.

The driver of the Jeep, the Complainant, aware of the police blockade around him, exited the vehicle and ran eastbound. He had made it as far as an open grass field at the northeast corner of the Highway 27 and Steeles Avenue West intersection when he was physically engaged by SO #1 and taken to ground.

SO #1 had chased after the Complainant on foot and tackled him, falling himself in the process. Shortly after their falls, the officer, now joined by SO #2, handcuffed the Complainant behind the back.

Following his arrest, the Complainant was seated in the rear compartment of SO #1’s cruiser. He complained of pain to the right arm and was assessed by attending paramedics with a broken arm. The Complainant was transported to hospital where that diagnosis was confirmed.

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

The Complainant was seriously injured during his arrest by YRP officers on December 1, 2023. The SIU was notified of the incident and initiated an investigation naming SO #1 and SO #2 subject officials. The investigation is now concluded. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that either subject official committed a criminal offence in connection with the Complainant’s arrest and injury.

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.

Given what the officers had learned over the police radio of the theft of the Jeep, I am satisfied they were proceeding to lawfully arrest the Complainant at the time of his injury.

I am also satisfied that the subject officials used no more force than was necessary to take the Complainant into custody. The takedown from behind performed by SO #1 was a reasonable tactic. The Complainant was running from the police and seemed determined to evade apprehension. Placing him on the ground would bring his flight to an end while putting the officers in a position to better manage any further resistance by the Complainant. Nor does it appear that the maneuver was executed with undue force even though it was the impact with the ground that broke the Complainant’s arm. Thereafter, though it is not entirely clear what the nature of SO #2’s involvement was, there is no indication in the evidence of any strikes having been delivered by either officer as they proceeded to secure the Complainant’s arms.

For the foregoing reasons, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges against either subject official. The file is closed.

Date: March 28, 2024

Electronically approved by

Joseph Martino


Special Investigations Unit


  • 1) Unless otherwise specified, 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.