SIU Lays Additional Charges in Case Where Man in Whitby Sustained Serious Injuries
(21 July, 2017) ---
On July 17, 2017, The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Tony Loparco, caused several Criminal Code charges – aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and public mischief – to be laid against Toronto Police Service Constable Michael Theriault in relation to the injuries sustained by a 19-year-old man during an interaction in Whitby in December of 2016.
Yesterday, upon his determination that there were also reasonable and probable grounds to believe that Christian Theriault, a civilian, committed the same offences in relation to the same incident, Director Loparco caused a further information to be laid charging Michael Theriault and Christian Theriault jointly with aggravated assault and assault with a weapon, contrary to section 268 and 267(a) of the Criminal Code, respectively, and each individually with public mischief, contrary to section 140 of the Criminal Code.
On December 28, 2016, Cst Michael Theriault, off-duty at the time, and Christian Theriault were involved in an interaction with the man in the area of Thickson Road and William Stephenson Drive. Officers with the Durham Regional Police Service arrived and arrested the man. He was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with serious injuries. The SIU was notified of the incident on April 27, 2017 by the man’s lawyer.
Director Loparco said, “Though the SIU investigates and, where warranted by the evidence, charges police officers in cases of serious injury and death, the allegation in this case is that Cst Michael Theriault and Christian Theriault acted together and were parties to the same assault upon the 19-year-old man on December 28, 2016. Accordingly, upon consultations with and advice received from the Crown Law Office – Criminal of the Ministry of the Attorney General, and in view of the exceptional circumstances of this case, I am satisfied that the overall interests of justice are best served by trying both accused together in one trial; thus, the new information that was sworn yesterday.”
Christian Theriault was arrested by the SIU today and subsequently released and required to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice at 150 Bond Street in Oshawa on August 10, 2017.
The matter is now properly before the courts. In consideration of the fair trial interests of the accused, the SIU will make no further comment.
The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must
- consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
- depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
- publicly report the results of its investigations