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News Release

SIU Concludes Sudbury Investigation

Case Number: 10-OVI-274

Mississauga (9 March, 2011) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge any officers of the Greater Sudbury Police Service (GSPS) with a criminal offence in regards to the injuries sustained by a 27-year-old man when the van he was driving crashed into a building on December 22, 2010.

The SIU assigned four investigators and one accident re-constructionist to probe the circumstances surrounding this incident. One officer was designated as a subject officer and four officers were designated as witness officers. Two witness officers and two civilian witnesses were interviewed.

The SIU investigation determined that Mr. Spence was operating a taxicab that was not his on the day in question. The subject officer began a suspect apprehension pursuit of the vehicle after receiving information that the taxicab was stolen.. He activated his emergency equipment and stayed in contact with the communications centre. Mr. Spence was attempting to elude the police by driving quickly and disobeying traffic stops. The traffic was light. On Lorne Street south of Applegrove Street, Mr. Spence lost control of his vehicle and smashed it into a paint store, causing fractures to his left knee and right ankle.

Director Scott said, "The subject officer had the lawful authority to enter into a suspect apprehension pursuit because he had reason to believe the driver had committed a criminal act. Mr. Spence refused to stop once the subject officer activated his police vehicle’s emergency equipment. The subject officer conducted the pursuit in compliance with the regulations; he kept in touch with his communications centre and took the traffic conditions into consideration. In my view, Mr Spence was the author of his own misfortune when he lost control of the stolen taxicab causing serious injuries to himself. Accordingly, no criminal liability may attach to the actions of the subject officer."

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. 

Frank Phillips, frank.phillips@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342