SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OCD-216


This page contains graphic content that can shock, offend and upset.

Mandate of the SIU

The Special Investigations Unit is a civilian law enforcement agency that investigates incidents involving an official where there has been death, serious injury, the discharge of a firearm at a person or an allegation of sexual assault. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019 (SIU Act), officials are defined as police officers, special constables of the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers under the Legislative Assembly Act. The SIU’s jurisdiction covers more than 50 municipal, regional and provincial police services across Ontario.

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.

Information Restrictions

Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019

Pursuant 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 Act

Pursuant 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, 2004

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

Other proceedings, processes, and investigations

Information 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.

Mandate Engaged

Pursuant to section 15 of the SIU Act, the SIU may investigate the conduct of officials, be they police officers, special constables of the Niagara Parks Commission or peace officers under the Legislative Assembly Act, that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault or the discharge of a firearm at a person.

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 death of a 34-year-old man (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On July 13, 2021, at 7:03 a.m., the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) reported the following.

On July 13, 2021, just after midnight, OPS received a call from an address on Mudminnow Crescent regarding a suspicious man breaking into cars. When police officers arrived, they stopped the Complainant. The police officers did not have grounds to arrest the Complainant, but he appeared intoxicated. The Complainant asked the police officers to drop him at the bus stop near 4409 Innes Road, and they agreed. At 12:49 a.m., the Complainant was dropped off and left the area.

At 5:49 a.m., OPS received a report of a dead man near 4409 Innes Road. When police officers arrived, they identified that man as the Complainant.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 07/13/2021 at 7:47 a.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 07/13/2021 at 12:16 p.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4

Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

34-year-old male, deceased

Civilian Witnesses

CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Declined interview
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed

The civilian witnesses were interviewed on July 15, 2021.

Subject Officials

SO Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed

The subject official was interviewed on August 17, 2021.

Witness Officials

WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
WO #4 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
WO #5 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
WO #6 Interviewed

The witness officials were interviewed on July 20, 2021.


The Scene 

SIU investigators attended the scene on July 13, 2021, at 12:16 p.m. The scene had already been processed, on SIU approval, by OPS forensic investigative services due to inclement weather. An SIU forensic investigator made a video and photographic record of the area, post-processing.

The Complainant had been found lying on a hydro access panel, at the foot of a lot at 4409 Innes Road. Innes Road was a multi-lane roadway that ran east to west, divided by a median. 4409 Innes Road was on the north side of Innes Road, 80 metres west of Tenth Line Road. It was an empty lot where a recently demolished house once stood. The lot now functioned as a predominantly gravel covered parking lot, the remainder of which was grass covered.

A sidewalk ran along the north side of Innes Road, parallel to the roadway. At the bottom of what was previously the driveway to 4409 Innes Road, about one-and-a-half to two metres north of the sidewalk, and four to five metres north of the westbound curb lane of Innes Road, lay the service panel. The panel was one metre wide (north to south), and three metres long. It accessed an underground hydro vault.

Figure one
Figure 1 - The service panel that the Complainant was found lying on.

The Complainant was lying on the panel, his head to the east, his feet to the west. The panel was four or five metres west of an OC Transpo bus stop and across Innes Road from the McDonald’s.

Physical Evidence 

On July 14, 2021, at 8:35 a.m., at the post-mortem examination, the SU collected the Complainant’s clothing and property. None of the collected items were of evidentiary value. All items were packaged, sealed, and stored.

Forensic Evidence

Submissions to the Centre of Forensic Sciences were made by the Ottawa General Hospital – Pathology Unit. The results of those submissions were pending at the time of this report.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [1]

The SIU searched for and obtained audio and video records of relevance, as set out below.

911 Calls and Police Communication Recordings

Requested on July 13, 2021, and received on July 27, 2021, two folders of audio were reviewed from July 13, 2021.

Folder #1
The first folder contained the 911 telephone call from CW #4 and radio dispatch transmissions for a call in the area of an address on Mudminnow Crescent, where the Complainant was dealt with by the SO.

911 Call
On July 13, 2021, at 12:04 a.m., CW #4’s three-minute 911 call recorded her report of the Complainant trying to get into parked cars and her description of him.

Radio Transmissions
On July 13, 2021, at 12:04 a.m., the SO and WO #2 were dispatched to the call and given the description CW #4 had provided of the Complainant. They acknowledged the radio call.

Seven minutes and 30 seconds later, the SO broadcast that he had the Complainant at the end of Mudminnow Crescent.

Two minutes later, the SO broadcast everything was okay.

Folder #2
The second folder contained the 911 telephone call from CW #3 and the radio dispatch transmissions for a call to Innes Road, west of Tenth Line Road, where he had found the Complainant, dead.

911 Call
On July 13, 2021, at 5:49 a.m., CW #3 called 911 and was immediately transferred to the ambulance communications centre where he reported having found the Complainant on the ground, not breathing. He did not believe the Complainant was alive.

Radio Transmissions
On July 13, 2021, at 6:13 a.m., WO #6 requested the SO telephone him. He later asked for another day shift unit. Those were the only transmissions on the 11-minute recording.

OC Transpo In-Bus Security Camera Video

Video recordings were requested from OC Transpo July 13, 2021, and received on July 21, 2021.

Six videos, from five different buses, including an electronic map with the corresponding GPS coordinates of those busses, were reviewed.

Bus #1
On July 13, 2021, at 12:46 a.m., Bus #1 travelling northbound on Tenth Line Road, approached Innes Road. An OPS SUV vehicle turned left from Tenth Line Road to travel eastbound on Innes Road. The traffic light for northbound turned red and the bus stopped at the intersection. A person [now known to be the Complainant] walked westbound, across the front of the Shell station, towards Tenth Line Road.

At 12:47 a.m., while the light was still red, the Complainant reached the east curb of Tenth Line Road. Without stopping, he crossed the two northbound lanes north of the intersection and reached the centre median as the light changed to green for the bus. The bus entered and crossed the intersection, and the Complainant crossed the two southbound left-turn lanes before he went out of camera view.

In the almost 60 seconds of video, the Complainant walked with an unaffected gate at a normal speed.

Bus #2
At 12:58 a.m., Bus #2 travelled eastbound on Innes Road, and approached the scene. There was no one at the bus stop or in the area.

Bus #3
At 4:35 a.m., Bus #3 was westbound on Innes Road. It passed through the intersection at Tenth Line Road, and then past the scene. The Complainant was lying on the ground in the location and position he was later found. No other people were in the area as the bus passed by, without stopping, at 57 km/h.

Bus #4
At 5:05 a.m., Bus #4 was westbound, on Innes Road. Similar to Bus #3, the Complainant was visible through the front windshield and the side door of the bus. No other people were in the area.

Bus #5
At 5:09 a.m., Bus #5 was also westbound on Innes Road. As with Bus #3 and Bus #4, the Complainant was visible on the ground. This third bus also passed by, westbound, without stopping.

Bus #4
At 5:55 a.m., Bus #4, was now eastbound on Innes Road following an ambulance. As the bus passed, two police vehicles were on scene as the ambulance arrived.

McDonald’s Security Camera Video

Video footage was requested from McDonald’s staff on July 13, 2021, and collected on July 16, 2021.

The closed-circuit television video angle was intended to capture activities on the front patio of the restaurant but included the scene on the north side of Innes Road, across from the restaurant, in the background. The view of the scene was dark and grainy; however, at times there was adequate light from vehicles in the drive thru sufficient to make observations. The video recorded activity on July 13, 2021, from 12:44 a.m. to 6:02 a.m.

At 12:44 a.m., the area at the bus stop was free of activity. At 12:52 a.m., a person was visible in the area of the bus stop where the Complainant was eventually located. That person moved around and was upright, but it was difficult to make any other determinations.

At 1:20 a.m., a person rode a bicycle through the area of the bus stop and, at 1:35 a.m., a person walked uneventfully, westbound through the area of the bus stop.

Between 12:44 a.m. and 2:21 a.m., the scene was sufficiently illuminated to conclude there was nothing on the ground where the Complainant was later found.

Between 2:21 a.m. and 2:45 a.m., the area the Complainant was eventually located was too dark to see anything.

At 2:46 a.m., the scene became sufficiently illuminated and for a sufficient amount of time that the Complainant could be seen lying on the ground. He did not move before the arrival of a police officer [now known to be WO #6] about three hours later.

The McDonald’s video also captured the eastern sky beginning to brighten at 5:05 a.m. At 5:25 a.m., a person walked eastbound, through the scene, past where the Complainant was known to be lying. At 5:29 a.m., and 5:31 a.m., two firetrucks, with emergency lights activated, travelled westbound on Innes Road past the scene without stopping. At 5:36 a.m., a person rode a bicycle, westbound, through the scene past where the Complainant was known to be lying.

At 5:48 a.m., CW #3 was captured standing over the Complainant and, at 5:55 a.m., two police vehicles were on the scene.

From 12:44 a.m., until the arrival of CW #3, at 5:48 a.m., other than people who walked or rode a bicycle through the scene without stopping, no more than one person was ever visible at one time at the scene.

From 12:44 a.m., until the arrival of police officers at 5:55 a.m., no police vehicles and no police officers were seen at the scene where the Complainant was found. The video did not capture the Complainant interacting with anyone.

Materials Obtained from Police Service 

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the OPS:

• Communication Recordings;
• Officer Radio Log (x5);
• Call Report (x2);
• Notes and Report of SO;
• List of Involved Officers;
• List of Witnesses;
• Narrative of WO #1, WO #2, WO #3 and WO #4;
• Narrative – Next-of-Kin Notification;
• Notes of WO #1, WO #2, WO #3, WO #4 and WO #5;
OPP - Canadian Police Information Centre Request;
• Policy - OPS First Officer on the Scene; and
• Policy - OPS Intoxicated Persons.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the following other sources:

• Security Camera Video – McDonald’s;
• Security Camera Video – Multiple OC Transpo Buses; and
• Preliminary Autopsy Report – Ontario Forensic Pathology Service.

Incident Narrative

The following scenario emerges from the evidence collected by the SIU, which included interviews with the SO and video recordings from security cameras that captured the incident in parts.

Shortly after midnight of July 13, 2021, the SO and other officers arrived in the area of an address on Mudminnow Crescent following a call to police of a male attempting to break into vehicles. The male was the Complainant.

The SO spoke with the Complainant, who told him he was simply lost in the area and had not been trying to break into vehicles. The officer conducted a check of the Complainant and learned that he was prohibited from possessing break and enter tools. Asking and receiving permission from the Complainant to search his backpack, the SO did so and found no such items. Believing he had no grounds to detain or arrest the Complainant, the officer advised him he was free to leave.

The Complainant indicated he wished to travel west on Innis Road, and accepted a ride from the SO on condition that his hands be handcuffed while in the backseat of the officer’s cruiser. WO #2, another of the officers who had responded to the scene, followed the SO’s cruiser on the short trip northward to Innes Road.

The SO pulled into the Shell gas station at the northeast corner of the Innes and Tenth Line Roads intersection, where he dropped the Complainant. He and WO #2 then left the area, traveling eastward on Innes Road.

The Complainant walked westward across the intersection toward the bus stop beside 4409 Innes Road. The time was about 12:44 a.m.

While riding his bicycle along Innes Road, CW #3 came across the Complainant’s lifeless body at about 5:45 a.m. The Complainant was lying on a hydro access panel in the vicinity of the bus stop, about 80 metres west of the intersection. His head was pointed to the east; his legs were facing westward. CW #3 called 911.

Police officers and paramedics responded to the scene, and confirmed that the Complainant was deceased.

Relevant Legislation

Section 219 and 220, 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

220 Every person who by criminal negligence causes death to another person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

(a) where a firearm is used in the commission of the offence, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years; and
(b) in any other case, to imprisonment for life.

Section 215, Criminal Code - Failure to Provide Necessaries

215 (1) Every one is under a legal duty

(c) to provide necessaries of life to a person under his charge if that person
(i) is unable, by reason of detention, age, illness, mental disorder or other cause, to withdraw himself from that charge, and
(ii) is unable to provide himself with necessaries of life.

(2) Every person commits an offence who, being under a legal duty within the meaning of subsection (1), fails without lawful excuse to perform that duty, if
(b) with respect to a duty imposed by paragraph (1)(c), the failure to perform the duty endangers the life of the person to whom the duty is owed or causes or is likely to cause the health of that person to be injured permanently.

Analysis and Director's Decision

The Complainant died in Orléans on July 13, 2021. As he had interacted briefly with OPS officers earlier that day, the SIU was notified and initiated an investigation. One of those officers – the SO – was identified as a subject official. The investigation has now concluded. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO committed a criminal offence in connection with the Complainant’s death.

The offences that arise for consideration are failure to provide the necessaries of life and criminal negligence causing death contrary to sections 215 and 220 of the Criminal Code, respectively. The former is predicated, 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 reserved for more serious cases of neglect that demonstrate a wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons. It is not made out unless, inter alia, the impugned behaviour is both 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 in the manner in which the SO dealt with the Complainant that caused or contributed to his death and/or was sufficiently egregious to attract criminal sanction. In my view, there was not.

The evidence establishes that the SO comported himself at all times with due care and regard for the Complainant’s health and well-being. The officer was within his rights in confronting the Complainant as he matched the description of a suspect who had been reported attempting to break into vehicles on Mudminnow Crescent. Their conversation was uneventful. Although the Complainant appeared slightly unsteady on his feet, he had no difficulty walking or talking, and was coherent in his remarks. The Complainant denied being the culprit in respect of the 911 call, and the SO, rightfully in my view, concluded he had no grounds to arrest him, particularly as he had allowed the officer to check his bag, which was free of break and enter tools. Once at the intersection of Tenth Line Road and Innes Road, the SO watched as the Complainant was able to walk, without any apparent difficulty, across the road and toward the bus stop. The video evidence suggests that the Complainant assumed the position on the ground, in which he was eventually located, sometime between 2:21 and 2:46 a.m. There is no evidence that any other police officer engaged with the Complainant between the times he was dropped off by the SO and then discovered by CW #3. On this record, I am unable to reasonably conclude that the SO or any other officer transgressed the limits of care in their dealings with the Complainant.

The cause of the Complainant’s death remains unclear at this time, although opioid involvement is suspected. Be that as it may, as there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO conducted himself unlawfully throughout his engagement with the Complainant, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges against the officer. Accordingly, the file is closed.

Date: November 8, 2021

Electronically approved by

Joseph Martino
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.