No Criminal Wrongdoing on Part of Toronto Officers after Man Falls to his Death
Case Number: 15-TCD-290
Other News Releases Related to Case 15-TCD-290
(27 September, 2016) ---
The Acting Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has determined there are no reasonable grounds to lay criminal charges against any Toronto Police Service officer in relation to the death of a 34-year-old man in December of 2015.
Five investigators and two forensic investigators were assigned to this incident.
The SIU interviewed five civilian witnesses and seven witness officers. The subject officer participated in an SIU interview and provided a copy of his duty notes.
The Unit’s investigation also included a review of communications recordings and the results of a post-mortem examination.
The SIU investigation found the following:
- In the morning hours of December 1, 2015, two Toronto Police Service officers attended an apartment building located near Highway 427 and Burnhamthorpe Road after receiving a call regarding a domestic situation. A female resident has been assaulted by the man.
- The officers knocked on the door of an apartment unit, but no one answered. The building concierge unlocked the door for the officers. Soon after the officers entered and announced their presence, the woman approached them, bleeding and distressed, and told them the man was inside. The woman left the unit.
- While searching for the man, the subject officer ventured onto the balcony. He looked down and saw the man’s body on the 2nd floor terrace of the parking garage. The officer rushed to the man’s side and waited as the paramedics and firefighters attended the scene.
- The man was pronounced dead a short time later.
The post mortem examination subsequently confirmed that the man’s death was caused by multiple trauma consistent with a fall from a great height.
Acting Director Martino said, “It is unclear whether the man jumped intentionally to his death, or fell from the balcony attempting to evade apprehension by the police. No one observed him as he made his way over the balcony. Be that as it may, it is clear that the officers did nothing to cause or contribute to the man’s death, aside from perhaps serving as the impetus for his rash decision. Knowing what they did about the 911 call, namely, that the woman was in trouble and asking for the assistance of the police, the officers were within their rights in forcing entry into the suite to check on the woman’s welfare. Entering the residence and seeing the woman battered and bruised, they thereafter acted reasonably in removing her from the suite as they searched for the man. They had barely begun their search when the subject officer peered over the balcony and saw the man’s body below. On this record, I am satisfied that the officers discharged their duties professionally and lawfully throughout the course of these events. Accordingly, there are 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.
Monica Hudon, email@example.com
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342