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News Release

SIU Concludes Death Investigation in Belleville

Case Number: 13-OOD-157

Mississauga (2 August, 2013) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge any Belleville Police Service officer with a criminal offence in relation to the death of a 48-year-old man in July of 2012. The matter was brought to the attention of the SIU in July of 2013 by a family member of the deceased individual.

The SIU assigned three investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, six witness officers and eight civilian witnesses were interviewed. One of the subject officers declined to provide her notes or an interview to the SIU, as is her legal right. The second subject officer provided a statement but not his notes.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on July 13, 2012:
• In the morning hours, a number of civilian witnesses saw a man standing near the north side of the local railroad tracks near Herchimer Avenue. He appeared to be acting in an agitated manner, and at least one civilian spoke to him about his condition. Another civilian contacted the police about her concerns.
• The man spoke with a subject officer. The precise nature of the interaction is unknown because the officer did not provide a statement to the SIU.
• The second subject officer, who was driving around on general patrol, also saw the man. The officer was concerned about the man because it was a very hot day and he was wearing inappropriate clothing. The man told the officer he was a train enthusiast and was waiting for a train to pass.
• At approximately 11:30 a.m., the man committed suicide by stepping onto the railway tracks as a train approached.   

Director Scott said, “In my view, the second subject officer did nothing wrong in these circumstances. He took the time to speak to the man due to his odd behavior, but had no legal authority to apprehend him under the Mental Health Act as the man was not acting in a disorderly fashion and he did not appear to be suffering from a mental disorder such that he would harm himself. It is unknown what the exact interaction was between the first subject officer and the decedent because she did not provide a statement to the SIU.  While the man’s death was tragic, there is no evidence to support the proposition that either subject officer was in any way responsible for this event.” 

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