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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation in OPP Tecumseh Area

Case Number: 09-PVI-019

Mississauga (15 April, 2009) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) Ian Scott has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that three officers from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Tecumseh Detachment, committed any criminal offence in relation to the arrest of a Kingsville man in January of this year.

The SIU assigned two investigators and one forensic investigator to probe the circumstances of this incident.

The SIU investigation determined that on January 31, 2009, at approximately 6:00 p.m. in the area of Highway 77, east of Essex, an OPP officer attempted to stop a vehicle that had earlier been reported stolen. The driver of the vehicle, 41-year-old Scott McLaughlin, did not stop and a pursuit ensued. The pursuit continued until 6:30 p.m. when a spike belt was deployed. Mr. McLaughlin lost control of the vehicle and went into a ditch on Highway 3 near Sexton Sideroad. Mr. McLaughlin was arrested at the scene. He complained of injuries and was transported to hospital where he was treated.

Director Scott said, “The subject officers became involved in a high-speed pursuit of Mr. McLaughlin after he had appropriated a taxicab. The first officer involved in the pursuit used his emergency lights and sirens and pursued the stolen taxicab along County Road 34 and Highway 3 in Essex County. Other OPP officers joined the pursuit. The officers attempted a rolling stop of the taxicab after taking out one of the front tires with a spike belt. In the process of so doing, the taxicab left the roadway and entered the ditch area of Highway 3 west of County Road 34.”

Director Scott added, “The officers approached Mr. McLaughlin who was conscious and still located in the driver’s seat with his legs pinned under the dashboard. Mr. McLaughlin physically resisted the arresting officers, who were ultimately able to forcibly remove him from the vehicle. Mr. McLaughlin was handcuffed and transported to hospital due to his complaints about injuries he received. Accordingly, while force was used on Mr. McLaughlin in order to remove him from the vehicle, I am of the view that it was not excessive in these circumstances given his degree of resistance. In any event, the more serious injuries he received were more likely than not the result of the motor vehicle collision as opposed to intentional force applied by the subject officers.”

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. 

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