SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OCI-215
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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.
This report relates to the SIU’s investigation into the serious injury a 26-year-old man (the “Complainant”) suffered.
Notification of the SIUOn July 9, 2021, the Timmins Police Service (TPS) notified the SIU of the Complainant’s injury.
TPS reported that they had arrested a woman suspected of shoplifting with an accomplice, the Complainant. Both suspects had run from the scene, but the woman was quickly arrested. The Complainant had entered a house when pursued on foot by police officers. He eventually ran from the residence, and was tackled by a police officer and arrested.
The Complainant was booked at the police station and complained of a sore shoulder. He was transported to Timmins District Hospital, diagnosed with a fractured collarbone and placed in a sling, and released to the TPS where he was being held for a bail hearing.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 07/09/2021 at 11:49 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 07/09/2021 at 12:00 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 0
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):26-year-old male not interviewed; did not make himself available for an interview
Subject Officials (SO)SO #1 Declined interview, as is the subject official’s legal right. Notes received and reviewed.
SO #2 Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
Witness Officials (WO)WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Interviewed
WO #5 Notes reviewed; interview deemed not necessary
WO #6 Notes reviewed; interview deemed not necessary
The witness officials were interviewed on July 23, 2021.
The Scene The Complainant was arrested on the roadway in front of the premises situated at 386 and 390 James Avenue, Timmins.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
911 Call At 7:46 p.m., on July 8, 2021, a man called 911 and reported that a woman had shoplifted about $150.00 worth of goods at the Your Independent Grocer. The caller was following the woman as he spoke with the 911 call-taker. She had met with a man [now known to have been the Complainant]. He provided a description of the Complainant’s clothing and backpack. The caller last saw the two going into a bush.
Radio CommunicationsAt 7:46 p.m., WO #2 and WO #1 were dispatched to the call. The descriptions of the woman and man that had been given by the 911 caller were supplied. Units operated by SO #2, WO #5 and SO #1 also attended the call.
At 7:56 p.m., WO #1 advised he was in a foot pursuit of the Complainant on James Avenue heading for Toke Street.
At 8:01 p.m., a unit advised that the woman was in custody.
The Complainant continued running until WO #1 reported he went into a residence on Toke Street.
Containment was set up around the area of the residence on Toke Street. WO #3, WO #4 and WO #6 assisted with the containment.
At 8:08 p.m., WO #5 reported that the Complainant had been arrested.
Materials Obtained from Police ServiceUpon request, the SIU received the following materials and documents from TPS between July 15, 2021 and August 18, 2021:
• 911 Recordings;
• Radio Communications;
• Procedure – Arrest;
• Procedure – Use of Force;
• Arrest Booking Report;
• Arrest Report;
• Copy of Warrant to Arrest (x4);
• Event Details;
• List of Involved Police Officers;
• Notes-WO #6;
• Notes-WO #4;
• Notes-WO #3;
• Notes-WO #1;
• Notes-WO #5;
• Notes-SO #1;
• Notes-WO #2;
• Supplementary Occurrence Report;
• Will state-WO #3;
• Will state-WO #1;
• Will state-WO #5; and
• Will state-WO #2.
At about 7:45 p.m. of July 8, 2021, the police received a 911 call from the Independent Grocer on Algonquin Boulevard East reporting a theft from the store. The parties were said to involve a woman and a man, descriptions of whom were provided. Officers were dispatched to the address.
SO #1 and WO #1 were among the responding officers. As the officers arrived at the scene, they were advised that the female had been arrested by SO #2. The male, they learned, had fled on foot and was being chased by WO #5 westward from the grocery store. WO #1 joined in the foot pursuit and watched as the Complainant ran into the basement of a residence on Toke Street. Not wanting to follow the Complainant into the residence in the event he was armed, the officers set up a perimeter around the house and waited.
It was not long after that the Complainant exited the home and ran southward through some hedges onto James Avenue. WO #2, who was part of the police containment that had been set up in the area, saw the Complainant running toward her location on James Avenue. She tried to stop him and managed to temporarily grab one of his arms, but the Complainant was able to break free of her hold. The Complainant continued his flight for a second or two before he was tackled from behind to the ground by SO #1.
SO #1 landed on top of the Complainant as the Complainant tumbled to the ground front first. The Complainant refused to release his arms from underneath his torso. SO #1 struck the Complainant’s upper body, after which the officer, with the assistance of SO #2, was able to bring the Complainant’s right arm behind his back. Shortly thereafter, WO #1, positioned to the Complainant’s left, managed to free his left arm from under his body and bring it also around his back, whereupon SO #1 applied the handcuffs. The time was about 8:08 p.m.
Once at the police station after his arrest, the Complainant complained of pain in his right shoulder. He was taken to hospital and diagnosed with a fractured right collarbone.
Section 25(1), Criminal Code -- Protection of persons acting under authority
(a) as a private person,(b) as a peace officer or public officer,(c) in aid of a peace officer or public officer, or(d) by virtue of his office,
Analysis and Director's Decision
Pursuant to section 25(1) of the Criminal Code, police officers are immune from criminal liability for force used in the course of their duties provided such force was reasonably necessary in the execution of an act that they were required or authorized to do by law. Based on the description of the male party suspected of having participated in the theft of items from the grocery store, there is no evidence casting doubt on the lawfulness of the Complainant’s arrest for that crime. Moreover, at the time of the events in question, there were multiple warrants out for the Complainant’s arrest on other charges.
With respect to the force used by SO #1 and SO #2, I am unable to reasonably conclude that it was excessive and unnecessary. When the Complainant emerged from the home on Toke Street and fled from the officers in the area, it was clear that he had no intention of surrendering peacefully to his arrest. In the circumstances, the tackle from behind was a rational and reasonable use of force if the Complainant was going to be stopped and apprehended. Thereafter, when the Complainant refused to release his arms from underneath his torso and otherwise resisted the officers’ efforts to take him into custody by kicking out his legs and thrashing his body, the officers were entitled to resort to a measure of force to subdue him and deter any further aggression. A single strike to the upper body delivered by SO #1 and the application of manpower by SO #2 to wrestle control of the Complainant’s right arm do not seem a disproportionate response to the task at hand.
In the result, while I accept that the force used against the Complainant resulted in his fractured collarbone, most likely, the takedown, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that either subject official comported himself other than lawfully throughout the incident. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case.
Date: November 3, 2021
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) The following records contain sensitive personal information and are not being released pursuant to section 34(2) of the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019. The material portions of the records are summarized below. [Back to text]
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.