SIU Concludes Investigation into Windsor Custody Injury
Case Number: 05-OCI-112
On August 1, 2005, a WPS officer was attempting to arrest Mr. Holland for mischief when a struggle ensued and Mr. Holland was injured. He was admitted to the Hotel Dieu-Grace Hospital with facial injuries and treated for internal bleeding.
As part of the SIU investigation, the arresting officer was designated as a subject officer and five were designated as witness officers. A number of police reports and videos were obtained and analyzed by the SIU and 15 civilian witnesses were interviewed.
The SIU investigation determined that at about 3:40 a.m., an off duty officer was out with friends at Ferrary's Restaurant in Windsor when one of the officer's friends became involved in a brief argument with Kevin Ouellette. The situation diffused without incident. A short time later, restaurant patrons told the officer they had overheard Mr. Ouellette talk about having a gun delivered to the restaurant. Mr. Holland was with Mr. Ouellette.
The officer saw Mr. Holland standing outside near his car. He left the restaurant and saw Mr. Holland allegedly tampering with his car in the parking lot. He identified himself as a police officer and told Mr. Holland he was under arrest for mischief. There was a struggle between the two and the officer used physical force to affect the arrest.
While the officer was restraining Mr. Holland, Mr. Ouellette allegedly fired a number of shots in the direction of the restaurant and at the group gathered. Several shots struck the front of a restaurant on University Avenue and one bullet struck the passenger door of the officer's car. The WPS have since issued a warrant for the arrest of Kevin Ouellette in relation to the shooting.
Mr. Holland was eventually taken to the ground. Two officers arrived at the scene and helped the officer handcuff and search Mr. Holland. Mr. Holland was taken to the WPS station and walked inside unassisted. When Mr. Holland complained of pain to his side, an ambulance was called to take Mr. Holland to the hospital.
Based on all the available evidence Director Cornish stated, "There is a substantial body of witness statements, corroborated with the physical and medical evidence, that indicates the complainant tripped and fell to the ground during the course of his arrest. The officer used force in order to gain control of Mr. Holland however, there are no reasonable or probable grounds to believe the force used was unreasonable."
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.