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News Release

SIU Concludes Death Investigation in Pickering

Case Number: 12-PCD-090

Mississauga (5 June, 2012) --- The Acting Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Joseph Martino, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge an officer with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) with any criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by a 57-year-old man in March of 2012, and his subsequent death more than one week later.

The SIU assigned two investigators and one forensic investigator to probe the circumstances of this incident.  The subject officer did not consent to an interview with the SIU, and did not provide a copy of his duty notes, as is his legal right.  Three witness officers and two civilian witnesses were interviewed. 

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Friday, March 30, 2012:
•Shortly before 7:30 a.m., a number of OPP officers responded to police broadcasts of a suspected impaired driver traveling east on Highway 401, driving a Chevrolet Cavalier in an erratic manner.
•The subject officer located the Cavalier on the highway in the area of Whites Road.  He pulled up alongside the driver’s side of the vehicle and watched as it struck the guardrail and came to a stop. 
•In a matter of moments, the man exited his vehicle, fell onto the roadway, was handcuffed following a brief struggle on the ground and stood up. 
•Due to a laceration near the man’s right eye, an ambulance was summoned to the scene and arrived some 10 minutes later.  By that time, the officers on scene were concerned that the man was in some sort of medical distress, and relayed these concerns to the paramedics. 
•The man was rushed to a hospital in Ajax, and then taken to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto for emergency surgery.
•He died 10 days later from a stroke he had suffered. 

Acting Director Martino said, “Possessed of the information he had regarding the man’s driving, the subject officer had ample grounds to initiate the brief pursuit as the operation of the vehicle was a clear and pressing threat to the safety of motorists in the vicinity.  At no time, the evidence establishes, did the officer’s cruiser make contact with the Cavalier.  As for the laceration near the man’s right eye, it was relatively minor in nature and, as the evidence suggests, not the result of any strikes delivered by any officer.  It most probably occurred during the fall or struggle.” 

Acting Director Martino added, “Unknown to the officers at the time, the man’s driving was very likely the result of an ongoing brain bleed.  I am satisfied that all of the officers involved exercised an appropriate level of care in relation to the man’s well-being.  They quickly realized he was in need of medical attention, first with respect to the cut he had sustained and later for the underlying medical condition, and acted accordingly.” 

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