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News Release

Officer Charged in Relation to Niagara Vehicle Injuries

Case Number: 13-OVI-016

Mississauga (14 May, 2013) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has reasonable grounds to believe that a Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) officer committed a criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by 56-year-old Robert Long and 55-year-old Christine Long in a January 2013 incident. Director Scott has today caused a charge to be laid against the officer.    

The SIU investigation determined that on January 19, 2013, at approximately 5:30 p.m., Mr. and Mrs. Long were travelling in their Nissan Rogue in the northbound lane of Montrose Road near Charnwood Road when their vehicle was struck from behind by a marked police cruiser. As a result of the collision, Mr. Long was diagnosed with rib fractures and Mrs. Long sustained a head injury.  

As a result of the SIU investigation, NRPS Constable Leslie Bittman is facing one charge of Dangerous Driving, contrary to s. 249(1)(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada.
The officer is compelled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice at 59 Church Street in St. Catharines on June 26, 2013.  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