News Release

Woman Did Not Sustain Serious Injury During Apprehension by Police at Walmart; SIU Terminates St. Catharines Investigation

Case Number: 20-OCI-169

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Mississauga, ON (29 September, 2020) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has terminated an investigation into the July 2019  apprehension of a 39-year-old woman at a Walmart in St. Catharines. The SIU first learned of this incident on July 8, 2020, when the woman brought it to the SIU’s attention.

On July 21, 2019, Niagara Regional Police Service officers attended a Walmart in St. Catharines following calls to police that a woman was behaving erratically in the store and scaring customers. Officers located the woman, and she was apprehended pursuant to section 17 of the Mental Health Act. Subsequent to her arrest, the woman was taken to hospital where she was admitted for psychiatric examination.

Director Martino said, “Following a review of the woman’s medical records, it is apparent that she did not suffer any “serious injury” within the terms of the SIU’s statutory mandate. Accordingly, as the SIU is without jurisdiction in the matter, 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