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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Injuries Sustained by Man in Kingston

Case Number: 15-OCI-014

Mississauga (27 October, 2015) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Tony Loparco, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Kingston Police Force officer with any criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by a 42-year-old man in January of 2015.

The SIU assigned three investigators and one forensic investigator to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, eight civilian witnesses and nine witness officers were interviewed. The subject officer did not participate in an SIU interview and did not provide a copy of his duty notes, as is his legal right. 

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Monday, January 19, 2015:
  • In the afternoon hours, the 42-year-old man set fire to his garage, car and residence located on Crossfield Avenue in Kingston. He then barricaded himself in an upstairs bedroom. 
  • From outside the residence, several police officers tried to convince the man to come out but he refused. 
  • As the fire spread through the home, the subject officer made the decision to enter the home, authorize the dynamic breach of the bedroom in which the man was barricaded and remove him by force if necessary. The subject officer and three other officers went into the burning house, forcing their way through the barricaded bedroom door. They saw that behind a mattress, the man was armed with a knife and had a BBQ propane tank next to him. A couple of the officers told him to drop the knife but instead he plunged it into his neck. The mattress was shoved into the man and the subject officer disarmed him by deploying a conducted energy weapon (CEW). The officers dragged the man to safety and administered first aid. The man survived his injuries. 

Director Loparco said, “The subject officer’s presence in the home was unquestionably lawful. From the information dispatch relayed and his personal conversations with the man, the subject officer knew that the man’s life was in danger in the upstairs bedroom and rapid police action was required to save him. This is a textbook example of an exigent circumstance that permits the police to enter a home without a warrant. Further, the officers were duty bound to take reasonable steps to protect the man’s life and, given his suicidal state, the police had the authority to apprehend him under the Mental Health Act.

Director Loparco continued, “In carrying out these lawful duties, the subject officer was permitted to use such force as was reasonably necessary in the circumstances. The man had told the subject officer that he did not have any weapons with him in the bedroom. When the officers breached the door, they learned that this was not true. The officers were in a confined space with the man. The subject officer deployed the CEW to force the man to drop the knife only after the man had refused to put it down and turned the knife on his own neck. With the fire spreading throughout the house, the room filled with thick smoke, and a nearby propane tank adding to the danger, the situation called for quick and decisive action. The use of the CEW device in these circumstances was a proportionate and necessary response. As long as he had a weapon within reach, the man continued to pose a threat to the police and himself.” 

Director Loparco concluded, “In the final analysis, the investigation reveals that the involved officers dealt with the man with compassion as they pleaded for him to come out of the house. Ultimately, the subject officer and the other first responders, including the firemen, put their own lives at risk to save the man. The subject officer and the other officers behaved courageously and were extremely professional throughout this incident.” 

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