SIU Concludes Investigation into Custody Injury Involving the Waterloo Regional Police Service
Case Number: 08-OCI-154
SIU Director Ian Scott concluded: "The complainant, by all accounts including his own, was responsible for the injury to his eye."
On August 5, 2008 at approximately 5:30 p.m., a 44-year-old Kitchener man walked into the lobby of the Waterloo Regional Police station on Frederick Street after he believed that a former girlfriend failed to meet him at the local bus station. Officers called his sister to come and take him home; however, before she arrived, her brother became increasingly agitated, started crying, talking to himself and praying. He began rubbing his eye, eventually poking himself in the right eye with his finger. After a brief struggle, officers were able to restrain him with handcuffs to prevent him from doing any further harm to himself. He was taken to Grand River Hospital for treatment.
Mr. Scott added: "If the officer needed any justification for intervening, it may be found under section 17 of the Mental Health Act, which provides the authority for an officer to
apprehend an individual, who appears to be suffering from a mental disorder and has caused serious bodily harm to himself."
The SIU assigned three field investigators and two forensic investigators to this case; 10 police officers and four civilian witnesses were interviewed. The SIU also reviewed documents including occurrence reports detailing previous contacts between the man and the Waterloo Regional Police Service.
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.