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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Custody Injury in Whitby

Case Number: 05-PCI-130

TORONTO (30 September, 2005) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), James Cornish, has concluded that an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer from the Whitby detachment is not criminally responsible for the injuries to a 43-year-old man.

The SIU investigation determined that on August 28, 2005, two OPP officers were patrolling in a marked cruiser. At about 5:00 a.m., the police were driving eastbound on Highway 401 approaching Brock Street, when they saw a man driving erratically. The officers stopped and approached the man in the Ford Explorer. The man was arrested for impaired driving and placed in the cruiser, where he fell asleep en route to the Whitby detachment. When they arrived at the station at 5:27 a.m., the officers were unable to wake the unresponsive man. He was immediately taken to the Lakeridge Health Centre where he was placed on a ventilator. He was treated in hospital and released.

Director Cornish concluded that the officers involved in this case had no way of knowing that this man had ingested prescription medicine just shortly before the traffic stop. He stated, "Had it not been for the prompt and vigilant work performed by the officers, this man may well have died. Indeed, in speaking with SIU investigators, the man commended the officers and credited them with saving his life."

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. 

SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342