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News Release

SIU Concludes Death Investigation in Timmins

Case Number: 13-OCD-158

Mississauga (17 July, 2013) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Timmins Police Service (TPS) officer with any criminal offence in relation to the death of a 62-year-old man earlier this month.

The SIU assigned two investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, one subject officer and two witness officers were designated and interviewed. The subject officer participated in an SIU interview and provided a copy of his duty notes. The SIU also interviewed two civilian witnesses in relation to this incident. 

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on July 5, 2013:
• In the evening of July 5th, the subject officer was dispatched to 218 6th Ave regarding an unwanted individual at the premises.
• Upon arrival, the subject officer met with the 62-year-old man, who appeared intoxicated and escorted him out of the residence. 
• Later the same evening, the subject officer was dispatched to 127 Pine St N. regarding an unwanted individual.  Upon arrival, the officer met with the same man, who was still intoxicated. 
• The owner of the residence requested that the man be removed. The man however, had nowhere to go as he was not permitted to return to his usual residence, the Good Samaritan Inn, in an intoxicated condition.
• The subject officer believed that the man’s personal safety may have been compromised if he was not taken into custody and arrested him under the authority of s. 31 of the Liquor Licence Act, and he was lodged in the station’s cells. 
• At 12:38 a.m. the next day, station duty operator witnessed the man falling in his cell, and notified an ambulance. 
• The paramedics transported the man to Timmins District Hospital where he was assessed and released that morning.
• He took a cab to a motel room where a friend was staying, and later to the Good Samaritan Inn. 
• In the early afternoon, the man was discovered in his room at the Inn not breathing.  An ambulance was called, but paramedics could not revive him.
• A post-mortem examination was conducted on July 9th, 2013.  The pathologist determined the cause of death to be coronary artery disease.

Director Scott said, “In my view, there is no relation between the death of the 62-year-old man and the actions of the subject officer.  The subject officer had the lawful authority to arrest the man under the provisions of the Liquor Licence Act - he had reasonably formed the opinion that it was necessary for his safety because he was intoxicated, could not stay in the residence where the subject officer found him and had nowhere else to go. Once lodged in the cells, the station duty operator followed the service’s protocol when he summoned an ambulance after seeing that the deceased had fallen.  Unfortunately, the man died later that day after his release from the hospital for reasons that had nothing to do, according to the post-mortem report, with his brief stay in custody.”        

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. 

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