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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Injury Sustained by Man in Midland

Case Number: 12-OCI-283

Mississauga (22 November, 2012) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge any Midland Police Service officer with a criminal offence in relation to the injury sustained by a 21-year-old man in September of 2012.

The SIU assigned four investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, one witness officer and six civilian witnesses were interviewed. Both of the subject officers declined to be interviewed by the SIU and did not provide a copy of their duty notes, as is their legal right. 

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Thursday, September 27:
• In the evening hours, the subject officers were dispatched to a residence on Yonge Street regarding two suspicious persons moving furniture out of a house.  Unknown to the officers, the two men (the complainant and an associate) had been hired to move the furniture out of the house.
• As the two men were preparing items for transport in the basement, they heard footsteps above them, and went upstairs to investigate. The subject officers had entered the home through an open rear door. When the complainant saw the officers, he ran to the front door to elude them, as he had an outstanding warrant against him.  However, the subject officers caught up to the complainant, and there was a struggle. The man was noncompliant to the point that his shirt was ripped off during the struggle. At one point, one of the officers struck the man in the back with a flashlight. He was subdued and arrested, transported to the Midland police station and placed in a cell.
• Later, the man’s back went into spasms. He was transported to the Georgian Bay General Hospital where he was diagnosed as sustaining a closed fracture to the lower back.

Director Scott said, “The subject officers had an honest but mistaken belief that the man and his associate were involved in a break and enter and theft from the Yonge Street residence. After confronting the officers, the man ran in an attempt to elude apprehension due to an outstanding warrant. The subject officers reasonably concluded that the man was involved in a break and enter, and accordingly had the lawful authority to arrest him and to use reasonable force in that arrest. Given the complainant’s level of resistance, I am of the view that the force used was not excessive in these circumstances even though it caused him a serious injury.”

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