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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Injuries Sustained by Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle in Toronto

Case Number: 12-TVI-285

Mississauga (13 December, 2012) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Toronto Police Service officer with any criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by a 24-year-old man in September of 2012.

The SIU assigned five investigators, two forensic investigators and a collision reconstructionist to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, one witness officer and eight civilian witnesses were interviewed. The subject officer provided a statement to the SIU. 

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Sunday, September 30:
• At approximately 10:45 a.m., the subject officer received information that a man was on a TTC bus with a knife and acting in an aggressive manner towards other passengers.
• The subject officer and another officer drove to where the bus had pulled over, near the intersection of Eglinton Avenue and Oakwood Avenue. By now, most of the passengers, including the man with a knife, had exited the bus. The subject officer asked the bus driver of the man’s whereabouts, and the bus driver pointed to the south sidewalk of Eglinton Avenue about 50 metres east of Oakwood Avenue, and described the man’s clothing.
• The officers drove a short distance, got out of the cruiser and approached the man. He had his hands in his pockets. When the subject officer told the man to drop the knife, the man backed away and did not respond to the subject officer’s demands. The man then moved one of his hands from his jacket area to his facial area. The subject officer thought that he may have been armed and as a result pepper-sprayed him in the face. The man ran eastbound, and then suddenly turned to the left and ran into Eglinton Avenue. He was struck by a Dodge Caravan traveling westbound. 
• A knife was found on the roadway near his person. 
• The man was transported by ambulance to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre where he was diagnosed as sustaining a fractured right tibia and fibula, and a five centimetre cut to the back of his head.

Director Scott said, “In my view, the subject officer did nothing wrong in the circumstances of this incident. He was in receipt of credible information that a man was armed with a knife and acting in an aggressive manner on a public bus. The officer had the lawful authority to investigate and engage in an investigative detention to ascertain the truth of this information. In addition, the man was not responding to his demands to disarm himself and was acting in a manner consistent with having a concealed weapon. The deployment of pepper spray was a reasonable use of force option in my view given the man’s movements that could have been assaultive of the officer. Unfortunately, the man responded by running onto a busy roadway and sustained serious injuries as a result of being struck by a motor vehicle. The subject officer cannot be held criminally liable for this unexpected response by the man.”       

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