SIU Concludes Investigation in Quinte West
Case Number: 05-PCI-002
38-year-old man's serious injury.
On January 10, 2005, OPP officers arrested David Saunders for public intoxication. After being released from police custody, it was determined Mr. Saunders had suffered a broken hip.
Four SIU investigators were assigned to investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr. Saunders' injury. The SIU investigation revealed that at approximately 6:00 p.m. that date, he was brought to the Quinte West police detachment by taxi. The taxi driver took Mr. Saunders to the police station when he refused to pay the taxi fare. After speaking with Mr. Saunders, two OPP officers arrested him for public intoxication, handcuffed him and took him into the station. Mr. Saunders was placed in a cell.
At about midnight, Mr. Saunders complained of a sore leg. An officer asked twice what was wrong and Mr. Saunders did not respond. Mr. Saunders did say he didn't want to go to the hospital. The evidence indicates that from the time he was lodged in the cell until the time he left the following morning, Mr. Saunders appeared to have extreme difficulty moving and walking.
At about 5:24 a.m., Mr. Saunders walked into the booking area to be released. He did not complain of any pain at the time and did not respond to the police's offers to help and call a taxi. A taxi was called and two officers assisted Mr. Saunders into the cab. Mr. Saunders took himself to Trenton Hospital and was diagnosed with a broken hip.
After a careful review of all the available evidence, Director Cornish formed the belief that Mr. Saunders was not injured before he was arrested and taken into the detachment. The Director stated, "It is clear that when Mr. Saunders left the detachment, he was in physical distress and therefore, I believe that he was injured whilst in OPP custody. There is insufficient information however, to form any reasonable belief that any particular officer or group of officers committed any criminal offence."
The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must
- consider whether an officer has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
- depending on the evidence, lay a criminal charge against the officer if appropriate or close the file without any charges being laid
- report the results of any investigations to the Attorney General.