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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Ottawa Man's Death

Case Number: 07-OCI-201

TORONTO (23 January, 2008) --- James Cornish, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that any Ottawa Police Service (OPS) officers committed any criminal offence in connection with the death of Mr. Carlos Alcantara Gomez.

The SIU assigned four investigators, two forensic identification technicians and an accident reconstructionist to probe the circumstances of this incident.

The SIU investigation revealed that at 4:42 a.m. on October 2, 2007, Mr. Alcantara Gomez was pacing in front of the First National Bank on Rideau Street. An OPS officer approached Mr. Alcantara Gomez to see if everything was all right. Mr. Alcantara Gomez turned around and jumped through a window into the bank's automated banking machine (ABM) area. Other officers arrived to assist the first officer. Mr. Alcantara Gomez then broke out a side window and exited the ABM area. At this point Mr. Alcantara Gomez armed himself with a pair of scissors. He lunged at the attending officers as they spoke to him in an effort to try and calm him down. Mr. Alcantara Gomez fled south on Waller Street. At Daly Avenue a police cruiser struck Mr. Alcantara Gomez. He was taken to Ottawa Civic Hospital and admitted for treatment.

On October 3, 2007, Mr. Alcantara Gomez fell from his second floor hospital room window and landed on a roof below. He was in police custody at the time of his fall. On October 4, 2007, Mr. Alcantara Gomez succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at Ottawa Civic Hospital.

In relation to the initial incident on Rideau St. Director Cornish said, "Mr. Alcantara Gomez came out of the bank armed with scissors and lunged at the officers. He then ran in the direction of some civilians that had come on the scene. One of the officers gave chase in his police cruiser. Mr. Alcantara Gomez veered into the path of this officer's cruiser and was struck. Based upon the totality of the available evidence I do not believe that the officer deliberately struck Mr. Alcantara Gomez with his police cruiser."

In relation to the incident at the Ottawa Civic Hospital, Director Cornish said, "In my view there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the subject officer in this matter committed any criminal offence. Mr. Alcantara Gomez was at the hospital under police guard and was able to rip free of his restraints quickly before anyone could react to stop him. Mr. Alcantara Gomez was able to break through the window of his room and fell to a rooftop below. He soon succumbed to the injuries he sustained in the fall, and unfortunately his life could not be saved."

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