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News Release

No Charges Warranted in Death of a Man Found Intoxicated in Downtown Grand Bend

Case Number: 15-PCD-167

Mississauga (5 February, 2016) ---
The Director of Ontario's Special Investigations Unit has found that an Ontario Provincial Police officer with the Lambton Detachment “acted responsibly” during an interaction with a man who was found dead hours later. 

The SIU assigned four investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. The subject officer did not participate in an SIU interview, as is his legal right.  He did provide a copy of his duty notes.  

The investigation found the following:
  • In the early morning hours of July 26, 2015, Ontario Provincial Police officers were patrolling the area around Main Street in Grand Bend.
  • The officers encountered a 52-year-old man who appeared to be intoxicated but coherent.
  • Officers attempted to secure a taxi to take the man home.
  • When they could not locate a taxi, the subject officer drove the man home and left him in the care of his mother.
  • Around 4:30 a.m., the man’s mother found him without any vital signs and she called an ambulance.
  • A post-mortem later determined the man died of multidrug toxicity (drug overdose).

SIU Director Tony Loparco said, “I am satisfied that the subject officer conducted himself with due care and regard for the health and safety of the man at all times.  Concerned with the man’s intoxicated condition, the officer took it upon himself to ensure the man made it home safely by escorting him in his cruiser.  Once there, the officer left the man in the care of his mother before leaving to rejoin his partner. 

 “In the circumstances, I am unable to find fault with any aspect of the subject officer’s decision-making, and I am satisfied that the officer acted responsibly throughout in the discharge of his duty to protect and preserve life, and that there are therefore no grounds for proceeding with charges in this case.”

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