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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Brampton Dog Bite Injury

Case Number: 12-OCI-029

Mississauga (9 March, 2012) --- The Acting Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Joseph Martino, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Peel Regional Police (PRP) officer with a criminal offence in regards to the injury sustained by 20-year-old Matthew Caetano in January of 2012.

The SIU assigned three investigators and one forensic investigator to probe the circumstances of this incident.  The subject officer declined a request to be interviewed and did not provide a copy of his duty notes, as is his legal right.  Four witness officers and two civilian witnesses were interviewed.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Wednesday, January 25:
• In the early morning hours, the subject officer was advised that two individuals had fled from a suspected stolen vehicle that had crashed following a brief police pursuit.  The officer was also advised that the individuals were considered armed and dangerous. 
• The subject officer, his dog “Kaos” and another officer picked up the trail of Mr. Caetano – one of the individuals believed to have fled from the crashed car – and followed it to the front yard area of an address on Dixie Road.  The dog was leashed and in the subject officer’s control. 
• The dog located Mr. Caetano hiding in some bushes on the property and bit into Mr. Caetano’s left arm.  The dog and Mr. Caetano fell from the bushes onto the front lawn, with the dog still latched to his arm.  Mr. Caetano grappled with the dog using his right hand in an attempt to get the dog to release its grip.  The officers ordered Mr. Caetano to stop resisting.  With Mr. Caetano continuing to fight with the dog, the subject officer’s partner struck Mr. Caetano’s right arm and shoulder area several times in an effort to get Mr. Caetano to release his grip of the dog.  The officer was eventually able to take control of Mr. Caetano’s right arm, at which time the subject officer ordered Kaos to release its grip.  The dog immediately let go. 
• Mr. Caetano was handcuffed and taken to hospital for treatment as the tip of his right middle finger was severed during the struggle with the dog. 

Acting Director Martino said, “I am satisfied that the subject officer was proceeding lawfully to arrest Mr. Caetano when he and his dog set out to track Mr. Caetano on the day in question.  It appears on the evidence that the subject officer had full control of his dog at all times, had good cause to use the dog to seize Mr. Caetano hidden in the bushes and acted reasonably in ordering the dog to release its bite once his fellow officer appeared to have sufficient control over Mr. Caetano.  In the circumstances, the officer’s use of force against Mr. Caetano, via the dog, appears to have been reasonably necessary to overcome Mr. Caetano’s resistance and effect his arrest.”

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. 

Monica Hudon, monica.hudon@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342