SIU Director’s Report - Case # 20-TVI-253


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Mandate of the SIU

The Special Investigations Unit is a civilian law enforcement agency that investigates incidents involving police officers where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. The Unit’s jurisdiction covers more than 50 municipal, regional and provincial police services across Ontario.

Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must determine based on the evidence gathered in an investigation whether an officer has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation. If, after an investigation, there are reasonable grounds to believe that an offence was committed, the Director has the authority to lay a criminal charge against the officer. Alternatively, in all cases where no reasonable grounds exist, the Director does not lay criminal charges but files a report with the Attorney General communicating the results of an investigation.

Information Restrictions

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”)

Pursuant to section 14 of FIPPA (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 whose release 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 of FIPPA (i.e., personal privacy), protected personal information is not included in this document. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Subject Officer name(s);
  • Witness Officer name(s);
  • Civilian Witness name(s);
  • 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, 2004 (“PHIPA”)

Pursuant to PHIPA, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.

Other proceedings, processes, and investigations

Information may have also 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.

Mandate Engaged

The Unit’s investigative jurisdiction is limited to those incidents where there is a serious injury (including sexual assault allegations) or death in cases involving the police.

“Serious injuries” shall include those that are likely to interfere with the health or comfort of the victim and are more than merely transient or trifling in nature and will include serious injury resulting from sexual assault. “Serious Injury” shall initially be presumed when the victim is admitted to hospital, suffers a fracture to a limb, rib or vertebrae or to the skull, suffers burns to a major portion of the body or loses any portion of the body or suffers loss of vision or hearing, or alleges sexual assault. Where a prolonged delay is likely before the seriousness of the injury can be assessed, the Unit should be notified so that it can monitor the situation and decide on the extent of its involvement.

This report relates to the SIU’s investigation into serious injuries sustained by a 42-year-old man (Complainant #1) and a 62-year-old woman (Complainant #2).

This report relates to the SIU’s investigation into serious injuries sustained by a 42-year-old man (Complainant #1) and a 62-year-old woman (Complainant #2).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On October 5, 2020, the Toronto Police Service (TPS) notified the SIU of an injury to Complainant #1.
The TPS reported that on October 5, 2020, at 3:37 p.m., officers from 13 Division attempted to stop a vehicle driven by Complainant #1 in the area of Winona Drive and Lanark Avenue. The vehicle travelled west on Lanark Avenue and then south on Alameda Avenue. The officer activated the emergency equipment on the cruiser. Moments later, the officer was directed not to pursue the vehicle. The vehicle travelled out of the officer’s sight. A short time later, the vehicle was reported to have been in collision with another vehicle at Oakwood Avenue and Bude Street.
Paramedics took two occupants of the second vehicle to the hospital with minor injuries.
Complainant #1 was taken to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and diagnosed with a brain bleed and a fracture to his spine.

The Team

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 5
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 2


Complainant #1: 42-year-old male, declined interview
Complainant #2: 62-year-old female interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed

Civilian Witnesses

CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed
CW #5 Not interviewed (Did not witness incident)

Witness Officers

WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Interviewed
WO #5 Interviewed
WO #6 Interviewed
WO #7 Interviewed
WO #8 Not interviewed (Arrived after the collision)
WO #9 Not interviewed (Arrived after the collision)

Additionally, the notes from two other officers were received and reviewed.


The Scene

The scene of the collision between Complainant #1’s Mercedes and a civilian Toyota RAV4 was the intersection of Bude Street and Oakwood Avenue. It was processed by SIU Forensic Investigators.

Figure 1 - Complainant #1's Mercedes.

Figure 2 - The Toyota RAV4 in which Complainant #2 was a passenger.

The travel of Complainant #1 in his Mercedes, as well as the travel of TPS marked and unmarked police vehicles, took place in a residential neighborhood. The collision took place in the intersection of Bude Street and Oakwood Avenue. WO #2 stopped his police vehicle, turning off his emergency lights and in-car-camera system (ICCS), on Alameda Avenue just south of Clovelly Avenue.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence

The following is a summary of the salient portions of the video captured by the ICCSs of two police scout cars.


ICCS Video #1

The video recording commenced on October 5, 2020, at 3:33:11 p.m. The scout car, parked at TPS 13 Division, exited the parking lot and drove north on Winnette Avenue, west on Eglinton Avenue, south on Atlas Avenue, west on Gloucester Grove, and then south on Oakwood Avenue, and arrived at the collision between Complainant #1’s vehicle and CW #2’s vehicle.

ICCS Video #2

The recording commenced on October 5, 2020 at 3:31:32 p.m. The cruiser was driven by WO #8 and contained escort, WO #2. As it travelled west on Gloucester Grove, a white Mercedes Benz proceeded southbound in front of it on Winona Drive. The cruiser accelerated after the Mercedes Benz, traveling south on Winona Drive and then west on Clovelly Avenue. Shortly after it turned onto southbound Alameda Avenue, a radio broadcast was heard – “Let him go” – after which the cruiser decelerated and discontinued pursuit.

Beer Store Video

The SIU initially received a copy of The Beer Store video from the TPS on CD. The recording was corrupt and would not play. A new copy of The Beer Store video was requested from the TPS and received via email on July 13, 2021. The following is a summary of the salient portions of the video.

• 3:28:03 p.m. The fisheye lens video commenced;
• 3:32:37 p.m. The white SUV operated by CW #2, and containing her three passengers, could be seen driving northbound on Oakwood Avenue;
• 3:32:41 p.m. The white Mercedes operated by Complainant #1 could be seen
Driving west on Bude Street, approaching Oakwood Avenue;
• 3:32:43 p.m. A collision occurred when Complainant #1 failed stop at the stop sign
he was facing at Bude street and Oakwood Avenue;
• 3:33:32 p.m. A marked TPS cruiser could be seen coming off Strader Avenue and
driving north on Oakwood Avenue;
• 3:33:38 p.m. The video was blurry but appeared to show the officers arriving
on scene traveling south on Oakwood Avenue and going to Complainant #1; and
• 4:00:00 p.m. The video ended.

Materials obtained from Police Service

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the TPS:
• Computer-assisted Dispatch Event Details Report;
ICCS Video Footage;
• Closed-Circuit Television Footage - Beer Store;
• Civilian Witness Lists;
• Notes of WOs and undesignated officers; and
• Officer List.

Incident Narrative

The material events in question are clear on the evidence collected by the SIU, which included interviews with the involved officers and video recordings that captured the incident in parts.

In the afternoon of October 5, 2020, Complainant #1 was the subject of a police operation to place him under arrest for trafficking in drugs. The operation, led by WO #7, involved uniformed and plainclothes officers from 13 Division. The plan was to wait for Complainant #1 to return to his vehicle – a white Mercedes Benz sedan, which had been spotted in the neighbourhood around Oakwood Avenue and Eglinton Avenue West – and to take him into custody before he could enter the car. The officers, in marked and unmarked police vehicles, took up positions in the area and soon learned that Complainant #1 was seen walking toward the area of his car.

Complainant #1 entered his Mercedes Benz and drove to the Coffee Time car lot at the southwest corner of Winona Drive and Eglinton Avenue West. He turned in the lot and re-entered Winona Drive, traveling south toward Lanark Avenue. In the area of Lanark Avenue, Complainant #1 attempted to park his vehicle along the west curb of Winona Drive facing south when he observed two persons approaching his vehicle on foot.

The persons were WO #1 and an undesignated officer. They had approached Complainant #1’s vehicle traveling north on Winona Drive in an unmarked Jeep. Suspecting that Complainant #1 had identified them as police officers, the police officers decided to arrest him then and there, even though he was still in his vehicle. They exited their Jeep and approached the Mercedes Benz displaying their police badges.

Complainant #1 accelerated away at the sight of the officers. He blew past the 4-way stop sign at Gloucester Grove and turned right to travel west on Clovelly Avenue before turning left on Alameda Drive (southward) and then right on Bude Street (westward).
WO #2 and WO #8 were in their marked police cruiser on Gloucester Grove facing east toward Winona Drive when they observed the Mercedes Benz traveling south past their location. They briefly took up the chase of Complainant #1 but discontinued their active engagement shortly after turning onto southbound Alameda Avenue from Clovelly Avenue at the direction of WO #7. Complainant #1’s vehicle had turned the corner onto Bude Street by that time and was out of sight.

Complainant #1 continued west on Bude Street and entered the roadway’s intersection with Oakwood Avenue without stopping or slowing at the stop sign. At the same time, a Toyota RAV4 was in the intersection proceeding north on Oakwood Avenue. Its rear passenger side was struck by the Mercedes Benz. Complainant #2 was a front passenger in the RAV4 and suffered an injury to her right small finger. Both vehicles sustained heavy damage and came to rest in the intersection.

The first officers to arrive at the collision scene were plainclothes officers in an unmarked van. They had briefly followed the Mercedes Benz south on Winona Drive before the attempted arrest by WO #1 and the undesignated officer, but had not otherwise engaged Complainant #1 as he fled in his vehicle en route to the site of the collision.

Complainant #1 was arrested and taken to hospital in an ambulance. He is reported to have suffered fractures of the neck and spine, and a brain bleed.

The occupants of the Toyota RAV4 did not suffer any life-threatening injuries.

Relevant Legislation

Section 219, Criminal Code -- Criminal negligence causing death

219 (1) Every one is criminally negligent who
(a) in doing anything, or
(b) in omitting to do anything that it is his duty to do,
shows wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons.

(2) For the purposes of this section, duty means a duty imposed by law.

Section 221, Criminal Code -- Criminal negligence causing death or bodily harm

221 Every one who by criminal negligence causes bodily harm to another person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years

Section 320.13, Criminal Code – Dangerous operation of motor vehicles, vessels and aircraft

320.13 (1) Everyone commits an offence who operates a conveyance in a manner that, having regard to all of the circumstances, is dangerous to the public.

(2) Everyone commits an offence who operates a conveyance in a manner that, having regard to all of the circumstances, is dangerous to the public and, as a result, causes bodily harm to another person.

(3) Everyone commits an offence who operates a conveyance in a manner that, having regard to all of the circumstances, is dangerous to the public and, as a result, causes the death of another person.

Analysis and Director's Decision

On October 5, 2020, Complainant #1 and Complainant #2 suffered serious injuries in a motor vehicle collision in Toronto. As Complainant #1’s vehicle had briefly been pursued prior to the collision, the SIU was notified and commenced an investigation. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that any of the officers involved in the pursuit committed a criminal offence in connection with the collision.

The offences that arise for consideration are dangerous driving causing bodily harm and criminal negligence causing bodily harm contrary to section 320.13(2) and 221 of the Criminal Code, respectively. The former is premised, in part, on conduct that amounts to a marked departure from the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in the circumstances. The latter is a more serious offence reserved for negligence that demonstrates a wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons. It is not made out, inter alia, unless the impugned conduct constitutes a marked and substantial departure from a reasonable level of care. In the instant case, the issue is whether there was any want of care on the part of the police that caused or contributed to the collision and/or was sufficiently egregious as to attract criminal sanction. In my view, there was not.

For starters, there is no suggestion in the evidence that the officers involved in Complainant #1’s arrest lacked the grounds to take him into custody. Indeed, there was a warrant in effect under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act authorizing the search of Complainant #1’s vehicle.

The plan that was devised to take Complainant #1 into custody also seems to have been reasonable. Wishing to avoid the perils of a possible pursuit, the objective was to track Complainant #1 and arrest him before he entered his vehicle.

Though the operation did not materialize according to plan, I am unable to reasonably conclude that the officers failed to comport themselves with due care and regard for public safety, including Complainant #1’s health and well-being. When WO #1 and the undesignated officer approached Complainant #1 intending to arrest him, despite the fact that he was in his vehicle, they did so for an understandable reason. According to WO #1, Complainant #1 had made eye contact with him as their vehicle crossed paths on Winona Drive, the suggestion being that the officers’ cover was blown. In the circumstances, the decision to improvise on the fly in the hope that Complainant #1 might be arrested before he fled the scene in his vehicle was not without merit. Thereafter, aside from a seconds’ long attempt by WO #2 and WO #8 to keep pace with the Mercedes Benz, quickly terminated by WO #7, there is no evidence of any further active engagement by any of the officers in the course of events that culminated in the collision. Complainant #1 had ample opportunity to alter his reckless course and he chose not to. On this record, I am satisfied that he alone is responsible for the collision at the intersection of Oakwood Avenue and Bude Street.

For the foregoing reasons, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the officers involved in the operation that ultimately resulted in Complainant #1’s arrest transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges on this case, and the file is closed.

Date: September 13, 2021

Electronically approved by

Joseph Martino
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.