News Release

SIU Terminates Investigation into Death of Man in Windsor

Case Number: 20-OOD-002

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Mississauga, ON (24 February, 2020) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has terminated an investigation into the death last month of a 51-year-old man in Windsor. 

On the night of January 3, 2020, an individual reported that her vehicle had been stolen in the area of Ottawa Street and Gladstone Avenue. At approximately 9 p.m., Windsor Police Service officers observed the stolen vehicle and began following it at a slow speed before the vehicle struck a parking sign. Both the driver and his 51-year-old male passenger fled the vehicle. The driver was arrested, but the passenger managed to flee to a nearby apartment. As the man entered the doorway of a second-story apartment unit, he collapsed. The apartment’s residents called 911 and started CPR.  Paramedics arrived and transported the man to hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police had also responded to the apartment but did not physically engage with the man at any time.

Director Martino said, “The pathologist at autopsy declared that the cause of the man’s death was pending the results of toxicological and histological analyses. He attributed certain rib injuries to old fractures which had not healed properly. The newer rib fractures were, in his view, consistent with the chest compressions the man received during the efforts that were made to resuscitate him. None of the injuries, according to the pathologist, contributed to the man’s death. The pathologist’s opinion is also consistent with the minor nature of the impact that occurred between the parking sign and the vehicle in which the man was a passenger, which in my view was unlikely to have caused any serious injury.

“On the aforementioned record developed by the SIU’s preliminary inquiries, there is no question of any criminal offence having been committed by the police in connection with the man’s death. Accordingly, as there is patently nothing to investigate as far as the potential criminal liability of any police officer is concerned, the investigation is hereby discontinued, and the file is closed.”

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
  • publicly report the results of its investigations

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Monica Hudon, monica.hudon@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342