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News Release

Acting SIU Director: No Criminal Offence in Brantford Pursuit that Ended in Wrong Way Crash

Case Number: 15-OVI-264

Mississauga, ON (10 August, 2016) ---
The Acting Director of the Special Investigations Unit has determined that no criminal offence was committed in a Brantford police pursuit that ended in a head-on collision at the end of a one-way street.

Four investigators and two forensic investigators were assigned to this incident.

The complainant, four civilian witnesses, and three witness officers were interviewed.  The subject officer also participated in an SIU interview and provided a copy of his duty notes.  The investigation also included GPS data from the involved police cruisers, as well as forensic evidence gathered from the scene.
 
The completed SIU investigation found the following:
  • Just after 1:00 a.m. on November 10, 2015, a Brantford Police officer spotted a pickup truck in a rear parking lot off George Street, north of Dalhousie Street.  There were four occupants in the pickup truck.  Recognizing one of the occupants, the officer suspected the truck might be stolen. 
  • After the truck left the lot and started south on George Street, the officer pulled it over.
  • The driver and the front passenger were asked to step out of the vehicle as the officer verified ownership.  Two other officers – one of which is the subject officer – arrived at the scene to assist with the traffic stop.
  • As police communications confirmed that the truck was stolen, one of the rear occupants climbed over the seats, started the engine, and sped south down George Street, quickly making a left turn and driving east – in the wrong direction – on Dalhousie Street.        
  • The subject officer and the second officer started to pursue the vehicle, before deactivating their lights and turning south on Clarence Street.
  • The pickup truck continued driving the wrong way on Dalhousie Street, attempted to negotiate the curve in the road at Colborne Street East, and slammed into a minivan.  The 35-year-old female driver of the minivan was later taken to Brantford General Hospital and treated for a fractured pelvis.
  • After the collision, the driver of the stolen pickup unsuccessfully attempted to commandeer other vehicles in the area, assaulting their occupants when they resisted.
  • The man was arrested in a field north of the collision site.   
  
Acting Director Joseph Martino said, “There is no fault to be found on this record with the conduct of the Brantford Police Service officers in their brief interaction with the man.  The first officer was well within his rights in pulling over and investigating the occupants of the stolen pickup truck.  Thereafter, the subject officer and another officer briefly pursued the man the wrong way on Dalhousie Street before thinking the better of it, shutting down the pursuit, and turning off at Clarence Street.  Their active engagement took place over fewer than 300 metres, during which time there is no evidence that they were anywhere close to the pickup truck or otherwise endangered the travelling public near them.

“In the circumstances, I am satisfied that the subject officer conducted himself at all times with due care and regard for public safety and that there are therefore no grounds to proceed with criminal charges against the officer.” 

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. 

Lisez ce communiqué en français.

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