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News Release

Niagara Regional Police Officer Charged

Case Number: 12-OCI-136

Mississauga (19 June, 2012) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has reasonable grounds to believe that an officer with the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) committed a criminal offence in relation to injuries sustained by 31-year-old Michael Farkas in May of 2012.  Director Scott has caused a charge to be laid against the officer.   

At approximately 1:15 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, 2012, NRPS officers arrived at the Kool Katts Caribbean Restaurant at 6383 Drummond Road to investigate a noise complaint.  Mr. Farkas, who was working that night as a paid photographer, began taking pictures of what has happening.  He followed the officers out of the building.  There was an interaction between some of the officers and Mr. Farkas, and as a result he sustained serious injuries.  He was lodged in a cell overnight and released in the morning.  Later that day, he went to hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken nose, fractured orbital bone and fractured cheekbone. 

As a result of the SIU investigation, NRPS Constable Paul Zarafonitis is facing one charge of Assault Causing Bodily Harm, contrary to s. 267(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada. 

The officer is required to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice at 59 Church Street in St. Catharines on August 1, 2012.  The Justice Prosecutions branch of the Ministry of the Attorney General will have carriage of the prosecution.

As this matter is now before the courts, and in consideration of the fair trial interests of the charged officer and the community, the SIU will make no further comment pertaining to this investigation. 

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,
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342