News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Custody Death in Guelph

Case Number: 05-OCD-137

TORONTO (26 October, 2005) --- James Cornish, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has found that two Guelph Police Service (GPS) officers are not criminally responsible for the death of Iraj Mostafai-Simani.

The SIU was notified that on September 3, 2005, GPS officers entered a home at 4 Acorn Place in Guelph and found Mr. Mostafai-Simani dead. Four SIU investigators were assigned to probe the extent of police presence and involvement in Mr. Mostafai-Simani's death.

The SIU investigation revealed that on that date, a concerned family member called the GPS about Mr. Mostafai-Simani's well being. At 4:19 p.m., several uniform officers arrived at 4 Acorn Place and spoke with a friend of Mr. Mostafai-Simani. The man told police Mr. Mostafai-Simani was inside his home and threatening to harm himself if anyone tried to enter.

The police established a perimeter around the home and at about 4:28 p.m., a GPS officer made contact with Mr. Mostafai-Simani by phone. A trained crisis negotiator then took over and spoke with Mr. Mostafai-Simani about his problems from 5:58 p.m. until 6:25 p.m., when he suddenly hung up on the officer.
At 7:46 p.m., a command vehicle and members of the tactical unit arrived at the home. Two negotiators repeatedly tried by phone and bullhorn to re-establish contact with Mr. Mostafai-Simani. They were unsuccessful and at 10:00 p.m., police entered the home and found Mr. Mostafi had hanged himself.

Having reviewed all the available evidence, the Director Cornish stated, "There is no reasonable basis to believe that any member of the GPS did anything to cause or contribute to the death of this man. The officers involved in this incident were in a very difficult position and they appeared to follow their training in their efforts to deal with this situation and attempt to bring it to a peaceful resolution."

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