News Release

SIU Concludes Death Investigation in Kitchener

Case Number: 06-OCD-088

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TORONTO (8 June, 2006) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), James Cornish, has concluded that no Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) officer committed any criminal offence in relation to the death of a 47-year-old man on May 24, 2006.

Five SIU investigators were assigned to probe the nature and extent of police involvement in the events surrounding the death of Robert Hilliard. The investigation revealed that on May 24, 2006 a citizen saw Mr. Hilliard pacing back and forth in an unusual manner on the Conestoga Parkway overpass at Frederick Street. This citizen called 911 and officers were dispatched. The first officer arrived in a marked cruiser via Frederick Street at approximately 12:20 p.m. The officer saw Mr. Hilliard on the overpass standing about three feet from the guardrail.

The officer was at least 100 feet away when Mr. Hilliard looked directly at the cruiser. Mr. Hilliard walked straight to the abutment on the overpass and put his legs over the railing. The officer immediately radioed the dispatcher. While he was providing information to the dispatcher, Mr. Hilliard went over the overpass and fell onto Conestoga Parkway. Only two to five seconds elapsed from the time Mr. Hilliard looked at the cruiser to when he went off the overpass.

The officer immediately went to render assistance to Mr. Hilliard until an ambulance arrived. Mr. Hilliard was taken to Grand River Hospital, where he died a short time later.

Director Cornish stated, "The evidence gathered in the course of this investigation shows that the subject officer played no role in the tragic death of this man. Indeed the officer had not even exited his cruiser before the fatal fall occurred. It should be noted that the officer and several citizens attempted to save this man's life after the fall; however, their efforts were unsuccessful."

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
  • publicly report the results of its investigations
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342