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News Release

SIU Concludes Injury Investigation in Hamilton

Case Number: 14-OCI-142

Mississauga (1 May, 2015) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Tony Loparco, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge any Hamilton Police Service officer with a criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by a 44-year-old man in July of 2014.

The SIU assigned three investigators and one forensic investigator to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, six witness officers and nine civilian witnesses were interviewed. Both subject officers participated in SIU interviews and each provided a copy of his duty notes.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Tuesday, July 1, 2014:
• Following a concert in Hamilton’s Gage Park, the 44-year-old man boarded an HSR bus at Stinson Street and Erie Avenue. He was inebriated and almost immediately began to harass the passengers around him. After assaulting a woman, several male passengers attempted to subdue the combative man. They were able to force him out through the rear doors of the bus, which was stopped at the time. The man attempted to get back on the bus and was again forced out on several other occasions. After the last of these occasions, the man found himself lying on his backside near the front open doors of the bus. 
• The subject officers, dispatched in relation to a disturbance call, arrived at the scene to find the man still lying on his back near the front doors of the bus. The man kicked one of the officers as the officer approached him and then resisted as the officers tried to handcuff his arms behind his back. During the course of this struggle, the evidence indicates the man grabbed the duty belt and firearm of one of the officers, prompting the officers to strike him. One officer punched the man’s head two or three times, and the other officer delivered a knee strike to his torso. The officers were able to handcuff the man and take him into custody.
• Soon after arriving at the police station, the man was taken to hospital where his broken left ankle was diagnosed.

Director Loparco said, “The subject officers had ample grounds to arrest the man. They had evidence of the man’s assaultive behavior inside the bus based on what the passengers were telling them when they arrived at the scene. And, the man kicked an officer as the officer approached to investigate. That being the case, the officers were entitled pursuant to section 25(1) of the Criminal Code to use reasonably necessary force in the execution of their duty. In light of the man’s resistance to the officers’ efforts and, in particular, his act of grabbing an officer’s firearm and duty belt, I am satisfied that the officers used no more force than was reasonably necessary in effecting the man’s arrest. There are, accordingly, no reasonable grounds to proceed with charges in this case.”

Director Loparco added, “The evidence strongly suggests that the man suffered his injury while engaged in hostilities with the other passengers, most likely as he was extricated from the bus or as he kicked at the bus’s rear doors attempting to force them open. A video recording taken by a witness and evidence from several eyewitnesses at the scene indicate that before police arrived, the man was in substantial pain and unable to stand up.”

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