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News Release

SIU Concludes Innisfil Death Investigation

Case Number: 11-OCD-012

Mississauga (12 May, 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 South Simcoe Police Service (SSPS) with a criminal offence in regards to the death of 44-year-old Sulev Saamel, in January of this year.

The SIU assigned four investigators and one forensic investigator to probe the circumstances of this incident. Two officers were designated as subject officers. Three witness officers and two civilian witnesses were interviewed. SIU investigators processed and recorded the scene. Photographs and measurements were taken, video recordings made and a scale drawing of the scene was produced.

The SIU investigation determined the following:

• On January 22, 2011 the subject officers were dispatched to Mr. Saamel’s residence to investigate a call pertaining to a domestic disturbance.

• Mr. Saamel went into a bedroom and secured the door with a cordless drill.

• SSPS officers were informed that Mr. Saamel was dangerous, had threatened to cause harm to his common law partner and to himself, and had weapons in the barricaded room.

• An SSPS officer attempted to breach the door but was unsuccessful.

• Officers eventually forced entry into the room with the use of a battering ram.

• Once inside officers found Mr. Saamel unconscious with a knife wound to his throat.

• A bloodied knife was found near the body at the scene.

• Emergency Medical Services responded and transported Mr. Saamel to Royal Victoria Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

Director Scott stated, "In my view, Mr. Saamel was responsible for taking his own life and the subject officers had no criminal involvement in his tragic decision. Accordingly, no criminal liability may attach to their acts or omissions."

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. 

Jasbir Dhillon, jasbir.dhillon@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342