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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Stabbing at a Scarborough Hospital

Case Number: 08-TCI-059

TORONTO (10 July, 2008) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has determined that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that a Toronto Police Service officer committed any criminal offence in connection with an incident involving a troubled patient at Rouge Valley Centenary Hospital in Scarborough on April 16, 2008.

The on-duty, uniformed officer was at the hospital on an unrelated investigation when she responded to a call about an extremely distraught 19-year-old man, who had run from the emergency department, through a common reception area and into the nurses' lounge. There, he picked up a kitchen knife, cut both sides of his neck and began to stab himself in the chest and abdomen.

"The officer assessed her use-of-force options and decided that her service pistol was not appropriate to the threat, and using her baton at this stage would have put her in too close proximity to the young man," noted SIU Director James Cornish. "The officer ordered him several times to drop the knife without success before discharging pepper spray into his face. He fell to the floor allowing the officer and security personnel to subdue him."


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Mr. Cornish concluded: "The officer discharged her pepper spray and then used her baton in order to prevent the young man from further harming himself and perhaps others. The serious injuries were self-inflicted and not caused by any of the officer's actions. In my view, the officer's use of force under the circumstances was reasonable, and her actions likely saved this young man's life."

The SIU assigned four field investigators and two forensic investigators to 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. 

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