News Release

SIU Terminates Investigation into Injuries Sustained by Man in Niagara Falls

Case Number: 20-OCI-153

Witness Assistance

Fill Out a Witness Form

Mississauga, ON (30 July, 2020) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has terminated an investigation into the injuries sustained last month by a 30-year-old man in Niagara Falls.

At approximately 10:30 p.m. on June 26, 2020, the man was observed to be drinking in his vehicle on the parking lot of a motel in Niagara Falls, and he was arrested by a Niagara Regional Police Service officer. En route to the police station, the man was observed banging his head against the security screen. At the police station, the man started to become aggressive during the booking process. While being grounded by two special constables, the man struck his head on the floor. After being placed in a cell, the man fell against a small concrete block wall and the right side of his face struck the wall. The man was taken to hospital where he received five sutures for a cut above his left eye. In addition, he was diagnosed with a fractured zygomatic arch. 

Director Martino said, “Based on the SIU’s preliminary inquiries, which included a review of video recordings capturing the man’s time in custody, it is evident that this matter does not fall within the statutory jurisdiction of the SIU. The cut above the left eye, in the circumstances of the case, does not rise to the level of a “serious injury” within the meaning of the SIU’s mandate. As for the fractured zygomatic arch, the injury is likely to have occurred when, while in the custody of two special constables, the man was grounded in the booking room after turning aggressive or, having just been lodged in a cell by special constables, he fell and struck his head. In the circumstances, there being no indication that any police officer caused or contributed to the man’s fracture in any fashion that could attract criminal liability, 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

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