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News Release

SIU Closes Case into Fergus Death

Case Number: 10-PCD-169

Mississauga (19 August, 2010) --- Based on the Special Investigations Unit's (SIU) preliminary enquiries into the death of 22-year-old Ryan Maher, SIU Director Ian Scott has terminated the investigation. The incident, involving officers from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), spanned the dates of August 13 and 14, 2010.

During the evening hours of August 13, OPP officers responded to a bar in Mt. Forest and arrested Mr. Maher. He was taken to the OPP detachment where he was lodged. Mr. Maher began banging his head on the cell bars (captured on video), and was taken to Mt. Forest Hospital for treatment. He was released from hospital, and into the care of a friend. Later Saturday evening, Mr. Maher was out with friends in Fergus when he died.

Two investigators and one forensic investigator from the SIU probed the circumstances surrounding this incident. Based on the information obtained from video and from the post mortem, no evidence exists to indicate that any member of the OPP in any way contributed to or caused Mr. Maher's death. Given the Unit's mandate, which is limited to serious injuries and deaths that may have resulted from criminal offences committed by police officers, the SIU has withdrawn from the investigation. Further investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr. Maher?s death is being conducted by the OPP.

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,
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342