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News Release

SIU Concludes Georgina Vehicle Injury Investigation

Case Number: 14-OVI-063

Mississauga (3 July, 2014) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Tony Loparco, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a York Regional Police (YRP) officer with any criminal offence in relation to the rib injury sustained by a 55-year-old man in March of this year. 

The SIU assigned five investigators and one forensic investigator to probe the circumstances of this incident.  Four witness officers and the complainant were interviewed.  The subject officer also consented to an interview.  An examination of the in-cruiser camera video provided further information in determining the material events in this investigation. 

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on March 9, 2014:
  • Shortly after midnight, the subject officer was parked in his cruiser on a driveway on Clovelly Cove Lane in Georgina Township.  He was on duty patrolling the area for stolen snowmobiles and impaired snowmobilers.  
  • At around this time, the complainant was operating his snowmobile travelling west along Clovelly Cove Lane toward the officer.  The officer observed the complainant approaching, activated his emergency lights and pulled out in front of the snowmobile.  His intention was to stop the complainant to ensure he was the owner of the snowmobile and sober.  
  • The complainant did initially stop ahead of the cruiser, but then accelerated southward past the cruiser along the roadway.  The officer turned around, intending to stop the snowmobile.  However, by the time he completed the turn, the snowmobile was nowhere to be seen.  
  • The subject officer set out to try and find the operator of the snowmobile.  He travelled south and then turned right travelling west onto Irving Avenue.  Unknown to him at the time, the complainant had moments earlier also turned west onto Irving Avenue, turned around and was now travelling east toward the cruiser.  
  • The snowmobile emerged from a cloud of snow headed in the subject officer’s direction.  The officer decelerated and moved slightly to the right as the snowmobile came toward him.  However, the snowmobile struck the cruiser head-on, jolting its operator forward in his seat.  
  • The officer quickly exited his cruiser and advised the complainant that he was under arrest.  The complainant refused to give up his arms to be handcuffed.  The officer reacted by delivering two punches – one to the right torso area, the other to the upper right arm.  Still unable to handcuff the complainant, the subject officer threatened to use a “Taser”.
  • A short time later, the complainant allowed himself to be handcuffed.

Director Loparco said, “The collision between the snowmobile and the subject officer’s cruiser was clearly an accident for which the officer is not responsible.  He was simply proceeding west along the roadway at a reasonable speed when the snowmobile emerged with little to no warning.  The officer decelerated but was unable to avoid the collision.” 

The Director continued, “As for the complainant’s arrest, I am satisfied it was lawful.  The subject officer punched the complainant twice in succession when he refused to release his arms to be handcuffed.  In the circumstances, I am satisfied that the punches and the threatened “Taser” use did not exceed what was reasonably necessary in the circumstances to gain the complainant’s compliance.”

Director Loparco concluded, “While it is likely that the rib fracture was caused by the impact of the collision, in the final analysis whether the complainant’s rib fracture was caused during the motor vehicle impact or by the officer’s punches, I am satisfied that there are no grounds to proceed with charges in either scenario.”

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