SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-TCI-001
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Mandate of the SIU
Under the SIU Act, the Director of the SIU must determine based on the evidence gathered in an investigation whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that a criminal offence was committed. If such grounds exist, the Director has the authority to lay a criminal charge against the official. Alternatively, in cases where no reasonable grounds exist, the Director cannot lay charges. Where no charges are laid, a report of the investigation is prepared and released publicly, except in the case of reports dealing with allegations of sexual assault, in which case the SIU Director may consult with the affected person and exercise a discretion to not publicly release the report having regard to the affected person’s privacy interests.
Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019Pursuant to section 34, certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- The name of, and any information identifying, a subject official, witness official, civilian witness or affected person.
- Information that may result in the identity of a person who reported that they were sexually assaulted being revealed in connection with the sexual assault.
- Information that, in the opinion of the SIU Director, could lead to a risk of serious harm to a person.
- Information that discloses investigative techniques or procedures.
- Information, the release of which is prohibited or restricted by law.
- Information in which a person’s privacy interest in not having the information published clearly outweighs the public interest in having the information published.
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy ActPursuant to section14 (i.e., law enforcement), certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Confidential investigative techniques and procedures used by law enforcement agencies; and
- Information that could reasonably be expected to interfere with a law enforcement matter or an investigation undertaken with a view to a law enforcement proceeding.
Pursuant to section 21 (i.e., personal privacy), protected personal information is not included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- The names of persons, including civilian witnesses, and subject and witness officials;
- Location information;
- Witness statements and evidence gathered in the course of the investigation provided to the SIU in confidence; and
- Other identifiers which are likely to reveal personal information about individuals involved in the investigation.
Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004Pursuant to this legislation, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.
Other proceedings, processes, and investigationsInformation may also have been excluded from this report because its release could undermine the integrity of other proceedings involving the same incident, such as criminal proceedings, coroner’s inquests, other public proceedings and/or other law enforcement investigations.
A person sustains a “serious injury” for purposes of the SIU’s jurisdiction if they: sustain an injury as a result of which they are admitted to hospital; suffer a fracture to the skull, or to a limb, rib or vertebra; suffer burns to a significant proportion of their body; lose any portion of their body; or, as a result of an injury, experience a loss of vision or hearing.
In addition, a “serious injury” means any other injury sustained by a person that is likely to interfere with the person’s health or comfort and is not transient or trifling in nature.
Notification of the SIUOn January 1, 2021, at 1:30 p.m., the Toronto Police Service (TPS) reported the following:
On December 31, 2020, at about 7:55 p.m., TPS Drug Squad police officers attended a residence in Toronto intending to execute a Controlled Drugs and Substances Act search warrant at the location. As police officers were preparing to enter the residence, the Complainant arrived home in his vehicle. Upon seeing police, the Complainant backed his vehicle into an unmarked police vehicle and fled from the area.
A short time later, the Complainant was located in a parking lot in the area of Wynford Drive and the Don River. The Complainant ran from his vehicle trying to evade police. He was located sitting on some rocks near the river and taken into custody. He complained of shoulder pain and was transported first to North York General Hospital and then to Sunnybrook Hospital where he was later diagnosed as having suffered a dislocated shoulder and fractured nose. He was treated and released into the custody of TPS.
The arresting officers were Subject Official (SO) #1 and SO #2. Both worked out of 51 Division.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: January 4, 2021 at 10:21 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: January 7, 2021 at 2:48 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 0
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):49-year-old male interviewed on January 14, 2021
Civilian Witness (CW)CW Not interviewed.
The SIU was unable to contact this witness to arrange an interview despite significant
Subject OfficialsSO #1 Interviewed on February 2, 2021, and notes received and reviewed
SO #2 Declined interview, as is the subject official’s legal right. Notes received and reviewed.
Witness Officials (WO)WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
WO #5 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
WO #6 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
WO #7 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
WO #1, WO # 2 and WO #3 were interviewed on January 18, 2021.
Investigative DelayThe Complainant was being held at the Toronto South Detention Centre (TSDC) during the time SIU was notified on January 1, 2021. Arrangements to speak with the Complainant while in custody were at the discretion of the TSDC.
Contact numbers for the CW were either not current or could not be found.
The Scene On December 31, 2020, at approximately 7:55 p.m., police officers from the 51 Division Major Crime Unit (MCU) executed a search warrant at a residence on Elvaston Drive as the Complainant arrived home in his Dodge Ram pickup truck. The posted speed limit was 40 km/h.
The Complainant attempted to evade the police. He drove south on Sloane Avenue and then westbound on Eglinton Avenue East. Eglinton Avenue East was predominately commercial enterprises. The roadway consisted of four lanes, with two eastbound lanes of travel and two westbound lanes of travel. In the vicinity of the Don River Bridge, the Complainant drove his pickup truck over the curb and accessed a construction road on the east side of the Don River. The construction road was not designed for public access.
The elevation change from the roadway on Eglinton Avenue East to the Don River involved a very steep decline. Underneath the bridge, it was dark as there was no artificial light. The surface was uneven and consisted of gravel, dirt and large rocks.
In-car Camera System (ICCS)SIU obtained ICCS video from SO #1’s and SO #2’s police vehicles, and WO #3’s cell phone videos and photos of the scene.
The following is a review of the ICCS video from the police vehicles operated by SO #1 and SO #2, leading to the arrest of the Complainant.
SO #1’s ICCS recorded her scout car following the Complainant’s pickup truck at normal speeds. SO #1 was later seen walking down the construction access road and, shortly after that, another TPS cruiser arrived.
SO #2’s ICCS was turned on and he was seen arriving after SO #1. SO #2 was on the same construction access road as SO #1. Shortly after, the rear passenger door opened and the Complainant sat down with his legs still outside of the police vehicle. The Complainant shifted himself into a seated position. SO #2’s ICCS showed the Complainant handcuffed to the front with blood on the left side of his forehead above his left eye. The Complainant was calm while in the back seat and spoke about his injuries. A short time later, the Complainant was heard talking to a paramedic and saying he was in a motor vehicle collision and had pain in his “left shoulder and head, and everywhere”. The Complainant was seen walking to the ambulance and the recording stopped shortly after.
Materials Obtained from Police Service Upon request, the SIU received the following materials and documents from the TPS between January 6, 2021 and February 8, 2021:
- General Occurrence (x2);
- Intergraph Computer-Assisted Dispatch;
- ICCS video recordings;
- Notes-SO #1;
- Notes-SO #2;
- Notes-WO #3;
- Notes-WO #7;
- Notes-WO #5;
- Notes-WO #1;
- Notes-WO #6;
- Notes-WO #4;
- Notes-WO #2;
- Officer Roles - SIU; and
- Collision Report.
The Complainant arrived at the residence in a pickup truck shortly before 8:00 p.m. and pulled into the driveway. He was quickly approached on foot by WO #1. The officer showed the Complainant his police badge through the closed driver’s window and attempted to open the driver’s door. It was locked. The Complainant started his truck again and reversed the vehicle, striking a police vehicle behind him. He moved forward and then reversed a second time, striking the same vehicle, before he righted his truck and accelerated southbound on Sloane Avenue.
SO #1 and SO #2 were in the vicinity of Bermondsey Road south of Eglinton Avenue East. They had been stationed there waiting to hear from the MCU that a uniformed officer presence was required at the scene of the warrant. At word over the radio that a takedown of the truck had been called, they started to make their way north on Bermondsey Road toward Eglinton Avenue East. As they were stopped for a red light on Eglinton Avenue East, SO #2 behind SO #1’s cruiser, the officers heard over the radio that the Complainant had fled from the scene southbound on Sloane Avenue (Bermondsey Road becomes Sloane Avenue north of Eglinton Avenue East). When the light turned green, SO #1 travelled north onto Sloane Avenue and spotted the pickup truck traveling south. As the vehicle passed her location, she performed a U-turn and then followed the truck as it turned right onto westbound Eglinton Avenue East. SO #2 followed suit.
As the Complainant approached the bridge over the Don River, a short distance away from Sloane Avenue, he jumped the curb of the north sidewalk and drove onto a construction access road, after which he exited his vehicle and made his way down the steep embankment toward the river’s edge. SO #1 and SO #2 brought their vehicles onto the construction access road as well and also began to descend the embankment on foot. They eventually came upon the Complainant. He was injured and laying on his back on a boulder near the water.
The Complainant was taken into custody by SO #1 and SO #2, and escorted up the river bank. Paramedics attended at the location and transported him to hospital. He was reportedly diagnosed with a broken nose, broken finger, dislocated shoulder and severe laceration over his left eye.
Analysis and Director's Decision
There is no suggestion of any untoward conduct by the subject officials on the evidence collected by the SIU. For his part, the Complainant says that he has absolutely no recollection of what occurred. The rest of the evidence, consisting of the police accounts, establish that the Complainant fled from a lawful police presence at his residence on Elvaston Drive, first in his pickup truck and then on foot, and injured himself falling during his descent of a steep embankment over uneven and rocky terrain. In light of the warrant that had been obtained, naming the Complainant as a target of drug offences, it is apparent that SO #1 and SO #2 were within their rights in chasing after the Complainant to effect his arrest. It is also apparent that there is no question of any want of care in the manner in which the officers pursued the Complainant during their brief engagement. Indeed, it is not clear that the Complainant was ever aware that he was being followed by police officers.
In the result, as there are no reasonable grounds to believe that either SO #1 or SO #2 acted other than lawfully in the course of their dealings with the Complainant, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges against either officer. The file is closed.
Date: April 6, 2021
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
The signed English original report is authoritative, and any discrepancy between that report and the French and English online versions should be resolved in favour of the original English report.