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News Release

SIU Concludes Death Investigation in Ottawa

Case Number: 13-OCD-191

Mississauga (24 September, 2013) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge two Ottawa Police Service officers with any criminal offence in relation to the death of a 22-year-old man last month.

The SIU assigned two investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, one witness officer and eight civilian witnesses were interviewed. One subject officer consented to an interview and provided the SIU with a copy of his duty notes. The second subject officer did not consent to an interview and did not provide the SIU with a copy of his duty notes, as is his legal right.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Friday, August 2, 2013:
• In the morning hours, the subject officers along with paramedics attended a seventh floor apartment at 1365 Bank Street to check on a possibly suicidal male.
• After unsuccessful attempts by police to have the man answer his door, two employees of the Ottawa Community Housing Corporation unlocked the door to the apartment. Upon entering, one of the subject officers saw the man standing on the apartment’s balcony with a large knife in his right hand. When the man saw the subject officers, he straddled the balcony railing with one of his legs. One of the officers yelled at him, ‘Don’t do it’. However, the man ignored this command, went over the side of the balcony and fell seven storeys to the pavement below, dying shortly thereafter. 

A subsequent post-mortem examination concluded that the man died as a result of a fall from a height with no injuries on the body other than those related to the fall. 

Director Scott said, “In my view, the subject officers did nothing wrong in relation to this incident. They were responding to a possible suicidal call. As a result they had the lawful authority to enter the apartment because they had reasonable grounds to believe that entry was necessary to prevent imminent harm to the man. There is no suggestion of contact between the decedent and the subject officers before the man fell from the balcony. While the man’s demise is a tragic event, the subject officers cannot be held criminally liable for his decision to fall seven storeys to his death.” 

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