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News Release

SIU Concludes Toronto Vehicle Injury Investigation

Case Number: 14-TVI-068

Mississauga (2 July, 2014) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Tony Loparco, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Toronto Police Service (TPS) officer with any criminal offence in relation to the foot injury sustained by a 32-year-old man in March of 2014.

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 five witness officers were designated.  The SIU reviewed the TPS policies regarding use of force and suspect apprehension pursuits.  As well, the scene where the injury took place was photographed and measurements were taken.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on March 18, 2014:
Just after 10:00 p.m., the subject officer was on duty operating an unmarked police van eastbound on Kingston Road approaching Sharpe Street when the officer travelling with him (the “witness officer”) alerted him to what appeared to be a theft in progress.  
The individual who was the focus of their attention – the complainant – was rummaging through a car that was not his.
The subject officer performed a U-turn on Kingston Road in the area of Sharpe Street and travelled westbound to the scene – a parking lot located on the north side of Kingston Road west of Sharpe Street.  
With the van positioned at an angle in front of the vehicle in question, the witness officer called out to the complainant identifying himself as a police officer.  The complainant started to run westbound.  The witness officer pursued him on foot.
The subject officer temporarily lost sight of the parties as he maneuvered his van in the direction he had last seen them.  The officer picked them up again a short time and distance later.  
The complainant appeared to be slowing, so the subject officer pulled his van in front of him into the parking lot of a tattoo shop.  As the subject officer was coming to a stop, the front passenger side of the van collided with the complainant, its front passenger tire running over the complainant’s right foot in the process.  
The officers proceeded to handcuff the complainant and, realizing he might be hurt, called for an ambulance.

Director Loparco said, “I am satisfied that the subject officer acted reasonably throughout this chain of events.  He was entitled, indeed, perhaps duty bound to follow the foot pursuit in an effort to render assistance to his partner.  That he did so in his van is not inherently objectionable, albeit it is regrettable that it was ultimately involved in a collision with the complainant, causing his foot fractures.  Nor is there any credible evidence that the officer intentionally used his van to run down the complainant or that he otherwise operated the van in a criminally negligent or dangerous fashion.  In the circumstances, I am satisfied that the officer was acting lawfully in the course of his duties and that the accident involving the complainant was just that, an accident, for which the officer is not criminally liable.”

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. 

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