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News Release

SIU Concludes Death Investigation of Man in Richmond Hill

Case Number: 12-OCD-271

Mississauga (2 November, 2012) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge two officers with York Regional Police (YRP) with any criminal offence in relation to the death of a 47-year-old man in September of 2012.

The SIU assigned three investigators and three forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident.  Two subject officers were designated. One of the officers consented to an interview with the SIU but did not provide a copy of his duty notes.  The second officer declined to interview with the SIU as is her right. Two witness officers and one civilian witness were also interviewed. 

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Thursday, September 20, 2012:
• In the early evening hours, the two subject officers were dispatched to investigate a person who was slumped over in his vehicle on Bowes Road in Vaughan. 
• The subject officers and a witness officer approached the vehicle and discovered the man in the front passenger seat.
• He was arrested for public intoxication, placed in the subject officers’ cruiser and transported to the YRP detachment, where he was lodged in a cell.
• Two empty wine coolers were found in the back of the car.
• A second witness officer at the detachment directed the front desk personnel to keep an eye on the man on the video cell monitors, and efforts were made to contact his spouse. 
• At approximately 2:30 a.m. the next day, the man was released into the care of his wife.  At the time of his release the man appeared to be relatively coherent. 
• After they arrived home, the man went out on his back deck to smoke a cigarette. 
• At approximately 5:30 a.m. the man’s wife went out to the backyard deck, and found her husband in a nonresponsive state. 
• She phoned for an ambulance. Paramedics arrived but were unable to revive him.
• The coroner attended the scene and pronounced him deceased. An autopsy performed the next day determined there was no anatomical cause of death.

Director Scott said, “In my view, there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by the subject officers.  They arrested the man under s. 31 of the Liquor Licence Act because his apparent state of intoxication made it necessary to take him into custody for his own safety.  Once he appeared to sober up, he was released into the care of his wife.  Unfortunately, he died of unknown causes a few hours later at his home.  There is no suggestion that he was mistreated while in police custody.  For these reasons, no criminal liability can attach to the actions of the subject officers.”

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. 

Lisez ce communiqué en français.

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