News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Injury Sustained by Man in Ottawa

Case Number: 12-OCI-287

Mississauga (14 November, 2012) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge any Ottawa Police Service (OPS) officer with a criminal offence in relation to the injury sustained by a 39-year-old man in October of 2012.

The SIU assigned three investigators and one forensic investigator to probe the circumstances of this incident.  As part of the investigation, six witness officers and seven civilian witnesses were interviewed.  One subject officer was interviewed by the SIU but did not provide his notes.  The other two subject officers did not provide notes and declined to be interviewed.  Subject officers are invited, but not compelled to present themselves for an interview with the SIU and they do not have to submit their notes to the SIU.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Tuesday, October 2:
• In the evening hours, the man was a passenger on an Ottawa public transit bus.  He began arguing with a number of other transit riders and made a series of racist remarks.  He continued making remarks once he exited the bus at the Rideau Centre Mall stop.
• One of the subject officers approached the man, identified himself as a police officer and told the man to leave.  While the man was walking away, the subject officer decided to stop him to ask for additional information.  The officer approached the man and placed his hand on his right shoulder.  The man immediately turned around and punched the officer in the face.  The man began running away despite being told he was under arrest.
• In his attempt to escape, the man fell over a newspaper box.  He then got up and faced off against the first subject officer, and two other subject officers who had arrived to assist.  The officers took him to the ground and handcuffed his wrists behind his back.  When the officers lifted the man off the ground and onto his feet, it was noticed that his right ankle was swollen. 
• He was transported to Ottawa Civic Hospital where he was diagnosed as sustaining a fractured right ankle. 

Director Scott said, “In my view, the three subject officers did not commit a criminal offence in relation to the man’s fractured ankle.  After the man struck the first officer in the face, the officer had the lawful authority to arrest him.  Given that the man fell over a newspaper box in an attempt to escape before he was subdued by the subject officers, it is unclear whether he received his injury of his own accord or during the arrest.  If the fracture was caused by the initial fall, the subject officers were not responsible.  If caused during the arrest when all officers were involved, I am of the view that they had the authority to use force to effect this arrest, and the injury was an unfortunate but unintentional by-product of a lawful arrest.  Accordingly, I do not have reasonable grounds to believe that any of the subject officers used excessive force in relation to this incident.”

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