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News Release

SIU Terminates Investigation into Death of Man in Windsor

Case Number: 20-OOD-002

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 a civilian agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or an allegation 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 investigations to the Attorney General.

Lisez ce communiqué en français.

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