SIU Concludes Falling Death Investigation in Hamilton
Case Number: 13-OCD-219
Other News Releases Related to Case 13-OCD-219
Mississauga (27 September, 2013) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Hamilton Police Service officer with any criminal offence in relation to the death of a 61-year-old man earlier this month.
The SIU assigned three 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. The subject officer participated in an SIU interview and provided a copy of his duty notes.
The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Tuesday, September 3, 2013:
• In the evening hours, the subject officer received information that a man had been standing on a bridge over the railway tracks on Centennial Parkway for an extended period of time.
• The officer drove to that location and saw the man leaning against a guardrail. The officer spoke to the man. When the officer asked him if he would like a ride, the man declined the offer, said he would leave and started to walk away, only to turn around and return to the same spot.
• The subject officer decided to meet with another officer to brief him about the situation in anticipation that the individual might respond more favourably to a different officer. When the officers returned to the bridge area, they could not see anyone. Upon looking over the bridge, they saw the man lying on his back approximately ten metres below.
• EMS was called, and the officers approached the man who was unconscious. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Director Scott said, “In my view, the subject officer did nothing wrong. He made reasonable inquiries of the man but clearly did not have the grounds to apprehend him under the Mental Health Act; the man was not acting in a disorderly manner and was not causing harm to himself or others, nor was he behaving violently or showing a lack of competence to take care of himself. Out of a sense of due diligence, the subject officer sought out the assistance of another officer and returned to the scene. Unfortunately, the man decided to end his life by falling or jumping off the bridge. In these circumstances, the subject officer cannot be held criminally responsible for the tragic but voluntary act of suicide 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, firstname.lastname@example.org
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342