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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation in Belleville

Case Number: 05-OCI-171

TORONTO (23 December, 2005) --- James Cornish, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has concluded there are no reasonable grounds to believe that any Belleville Police Service (BPS) officer is criminally liable in relation to a 40-year-old man's serious injuries.

On November 4, 2005, the man fell from the top of the roof of the City Hotel in Belleville and suffered multiple fractures and a serious head injury. He was treated at Kingston General Hospital and on November 28, 2005, transferred to a continuing care facility.

The SIU investigation revealed that on that date at 6:10 p.m., the BPS received a call from a man who was sitting on the roof of the City Hotel. Police, fire and emergency medical personnel were sent to the scene. The police closed off the street and officers maintained crowd control and scene security.

One BPS officer climbed an aerial tower onto the roof and saw the man talking on a cellular telephone. The man immediately told the officer to stay away and not to come any closer. Moments later, the officer advised the police dispatcher he had engaged the man in conversation and sat about 25 feet away from the man as he spoke with him.

Three more BPS officers, including a trained negotiator, climbed onto the roof and took up various positions. One of these officers moved to within 10 feet of the man and also started speaking with him.

Moments later, the man put his phone down and climbed over the edge so that he was hanging by his fingertips. One of the subject officers, who was about 8 to 10 feet away from the man, asked him for his hand. The rest of the officers gathered together and quickly talked about how they could grab the man and prevent anyone from going over the edge. Seconds later, the man fell to the ground.

Having reviewed all the available evidence, the Director concluded that the involved officers did nothing to cause or contribute to this man's tragic injuries. He stated, "They were dealing with an emotionally distraught man, in a volatile situation that unfolded in a setting that posed significant risk to all involved, given the very dangerous circumstances that existed on this sloping old roof."

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. 

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