SIU Concludes Investigation into HIghway 401 Death
Case Number: 05-TCD-025
Other News Releases Related to Case 05-TCD-025
On March 6, 2005, Mr. Amarsi threw his child from the Don Mills Road overpass above the Highway 401 before jumping to his death. The SIU was notified TPS officers were on the bridge and that an officer may have been talking to the man at the time of the incident. SIU investigators were assigned to probe the extent of police involvement in Mr. Amarsi's death.
The SIU investigation determined that at approximately 4:27 p.m. that date, Mr. Amarsi's estranged wife reported to the police that Mr. Amarsi had called her several times and was threatening to kill himself and their child. The first two officers arrived at the woman's apartment at about 4:52 p.m. One officer spoke briefly with Mr. Amarsi over the telephone and told him to return the child; Mr. Amarsi hung up on the officer. As Mr. Amarsi continued to call his estranged wife, the officers in the home provided descriptions of the man and the child to the police dispatcher and attempted to trace Mr. Amarsi's cellular phone to pinpoint his location.
At about 5:11 p.m., a Sergeant arrived at the home and met with the two officers. Mr. Amarsi continued to call and speak with his estranged wife. In these calls, he repeatedly threatened to kill himself and their child before hanging up and then calling back. During one of these calls, the Sergeant got on the phone and talked to Mr. Amarsi, asking him what the police could do for him. Mr. Amarsi told the officer he had everything planned, that he was 4 hours away and that he knew the police were attempting to trace his call. He hung up on the officer.
At about 5:37 p.m., Mr. Amarsi's calls were traced to a cellular tower at 135 Fenelon Drive and 33 Division units were dispatched. At about 5:41 p.m., a citizen called police about a man and a child standing on the Don Mills Road overpass above Highway 401.
Officers responded to the Don Mills Road overpass and saw Mr. Amarsi standing on the bridge over the highway's westbound lanes. Four officers parked and exited their cars, and walked toward the man. Mr. Amarsi looked at the officers and almost immediately, dropped the child and jumped from the bridge. The evidence indicates there was no verbal communication between any of the four officers and Mr. Amarsi on the bridge.
Mr. Amarsi jumped at about 5:45 p.m. and died of blunt force injuries. The child was admitted to hospital with multiple serious injuries and eventually recovered sufficiently to be released back to her mother.
Director Cornish concluded that the two TPS divisions involved in this case had just connected the incident unfolding at the estranged wife's home to the incident on the bridge, when Mr. Amarsi tried to kill his own daughter and then successfully killed himself. The Director stated, "I do not believe that any of the officers did anything to cause or contribute to this tragedy. Similarly, I do not believe that there was anything the officers could have tried that would have prevented it."
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.