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News Release

SIU Investigation Determines No Criminal Liability in Hanover Arrest

Case Number: 15-OCI-069

Mississauga (9 December, 2015) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Tony Loparco, has found that three Hanover Police officers bear no criminal liability for their actions during the arrest of a 40-year-old man in April.

The SIU had assigned four investigators and one forensic investigator to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, all three police officers were interviewed and two of the officers provided the SIU with copies of their notebook entries.  

Investigators found the following events took place on April 14, 2015:
  • Around 4:30 p.m., police were dispatched to an apartment at 253 Tenth Street in Hanover.
  • Police arrived to find a 40-year-old man throwing furniture through the broken second floor windows of his apartment..  Police secured the area and called the OPP’s Emergency Response Team.
  • The man announced to police that he had a rifle and explosives.  Then, he set two fires inside the apartment.
  • Police evacuated the surrounding apartments and sprayed pepper spray under the man’s door.
  • When officers entered the apartment, one officer deployed a conducted energy weapon and the man was handcuffed and removed from the apartment.
  • Two officers remained inside the residence and extinguished the fire.

The man was taken to hospital and diagnosed with a fractured wrist.

SIU Director Loparco said, “The 40-year-old man had done virtually everything in his power to cause the police to believe that he was a threat to himself and everyone on the block. When he set his apartment on fire, the officers could no longer simply contain him while they waited for the OPP’s Emergency Response Team to arrive. They had a duty to act to protect the public. The use of pepper spray was a minimally invasive means of drawing out the man. And when he opened the door, it was necessary to get him under control as soon as possible. The officers were facing an emotionally disturbed and confrontational individual who had just set fire to a place where he said he had stored explosives. The deployment of the CEW device was reasonably necessary and therefore justified under s. 25(1) of the Criminal Code. Beyond this point, there is no evidence any officer used any more force than required.

“The officers displayed true professionalism in a volatile situation. There are no reasonable grounds to believe that any criminal offence was committed by any officer in this case and no charges shall be laid.”

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. 

Jason Gennaro, jason.gennaro@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-641-1897 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 1897