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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Death of Toronto Man

Case Number: 07-TCD-254

TORONTO (3 June, 2008) --- The Special Investigations Unit has determined that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that officers of the Toronto Police Service committed a criminal offence in connection with the death of a Toronto man.

The 47-year-old man fell to his death from a 16th floor apartment on Redgrave Drive on December 22, 2007. Officers had responded to earlier reports of a man damaging property, Christmas lights and a car, in the area. Their investigation led to the man's apartment, but they were denied entry by the distraught man, who was yelling and swearing inside. He was banging around in his apartment and refusing to acknowledge the officers' attempts to speak with him. They did not know if the man was alone in the apartment

The officers called on Emergency Task Force officers to assist; however, they, too, were unsuccessful in negotiating with the man who had locked his door and removed the doorknob. When the officers forced open the door, the man sprinted to the balcony, vaulted the railing and fell to his death. The officers tried but could not stop him; in fact, one of the officers fired his Taser as the man was going through the balcony door in an effort to stop the man, but it appears the man's heavy winter clothing prevented the probes from making contact.

SIU Director James Cornish said: "Officers became increasingly concerned about the mental health and physical safety of this man and for anyone else who might be in the apartment. The officers were also concerned for own safety given that they had no control of the door since the man had removed the door handle. Once inside the apartment, at least two officers ran out onto the balcony only to witness the man's horrifying plunge after having tried unsuccessfully to stop him. None of the officers could have reached the man nor do anything to prevent him from doing what he did."

Mr. Cornish noted that there was nothing in the evidence gathered to suggest that the officers should have anticipated the man's fatal reaction to their entry.

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