SIU Concludes Injury Investigation in Toronto
Case Number: 14-TVI-125
Other News Releases Related to Case 14-TVI-125
Mississauga (5 May, 2015) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Tony Loparco, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge any Toronto Police Service (TPS) officer with a criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by an 18-year-old man in June of 2014.
The SIU assigned four investigators, two forensic investigators and one collision reconstructionist to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, two witness officers and 14 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 Thursday, June 12, 2014:
- At approximately 8 p.m., the 18-year-old male was a passenger in a Chevrolet SUV being operated by another individual.
- The vehicle was travelling east the wrong way on Jamestown Crescent when it caught the attention of TPS officers who were parked near Jamestown Crescent and John Garland Boulevard. The officers waved at the driver to have him pull over. The vehicle did not stop, and instead accelerated and sped past the officers. The driver turned right onto John Garland Boulevard and drove through the intersection at Martin Grove Road despite the red light traffic control signal. The driver attempted a sharp left turn onto Four Leaf Drive and lost control. The vehicle mounted the curb, crashed through a fence and struck the wall of a school.
- Shortly after, the officers came upon the collision site in a police vehicle. They observed the 18-year-old male exit the front passenger door of the SUV and run away. The officers caught up with the man at a fence enclosing a schoolyard area and he was handcuffed.
- When it appeared the man was losing consciousness, an ambulance was requested. He was taken to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre where he was diagnosed with a brain bleed.
- The driver of the vehicle was arrested.
Director Loparco said, “It is clear that the officers bear no criminal responsibility as far as the collision is concerned. Having observed the SUV driving the wrong way on Jamestown Crescent, the officers were within their rights to drive after the vehicle when it failed to stop as directed. The roads were dry, the weather was clear and it does not appear that the officers were ever closer than between 100 and 200 metres from the SUV during their active engagement. At the critical moment of the collision, the evidence suggests that the officers were in and around the intersection of John Garland Boulevard and Martin Grove Road, a fair distance behind the SUV, dismissing any suggestion that they contributed to the accident by recklessly pressuring the driver of the SUV. The evidence indicates that the officer driving the cruiser drove at a reasonable speed throughout the engagement, came to a complete stop at the red light on Martin Grove Road before proceeding safely through the intersection, and made use of his emergency lights and siren. Beyond that, it is important to note that this incident up to the point of collision was very short-lived in distance and duration, lasting less than a kilometre and no more than a minute or two. In the circumstances, there is nothing to suggest that the officer’s driving behaviour was unsafe or unreasonable.”
Director Loparco continued, “The weight of the evidence suggests that the man’s head injuries occurred when he slammed into the windshield as the SUV collided with the school wall. Witnesses in the vicinity observed him staggering out of the SUV following the collision and limping as he ran away. There is also a crack in the windshield consistent with it having been struck by an occupant of the vehicle and the evidence indicates that the man was not wearing his seatbelt at the time.”
Director Loparco added, “There is a suggestion in the evidence that the man’s head injuries may have been caused or aggravated by force used by the police during his arrest. The evidence indicates that one of the officers punched the man a number of times after catching up with him and attempting to take him into custody, first as the man was standing up and then again while he was on the ground. I am satisfied that the officer was proceeding lawfully to detain the man for the purposes of an investigative detention and encountered physical resistance during the execution of his duty. The officer had reasonable grounds to suspect the man may have been the driver of the SUV and was legally obligated to investigate. The man was in a vehicle that had been operated recklessly in a clear effort to avoid police apprehension after the commission of a possible criminal offence. I am further satisfied that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that the force used by the officer was anything other than reasonably necessary in the circumstances.”
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