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News Release

SIU Closes Investigation into Welland Falling Death

Case Number: 13-OCD-291

Mississauga (23 January, 2014) --- Based on the Special Investigations Unit’s (SIU) thorough review into the death of a 46-year-old man in Welland last month, SIU Director Tony Loparco has terminated the investigation. The incident, involving an officer with the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS), occurred on Sunday, December 1, 2013. 

The SIU investigation determined that at approximately 5 p.m. on December 1, a man was observed climbing up a girder of a bridge located at East Main Street and King Street. Shortly after, emergency personnel from the fire department and the NRPS attended. In an attempt to speak with the man, the subject officer and a firefighter climbed into an aerial ladder bucket which lifted them to within 50 feet of where the man was standing. After the officer called out to the man to come down, the man began climbing down a ladder in an apparent attempt to descend from the bridge. While climbing down, it appears the man lost his footing and fell to his death to the road below. He died at the scene.

Director Loparco concluded, “The subject officer did his best to coax the man to come down from the bridge. I cannot see any neglect on behalf of the officer, and the conversation, overheard by a number of witnesses at the scene, seemed appropriate in the circumstances. The man’s unfortunate death was caused solely by his own actions and was not a result of any action by the officer.”

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