SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OCI-382


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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 a serious injury sustained by a 43-year-old woman (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On November 9, 2021, at 11:30 a.m., the Barrie Police Service (BPS) notified the SIU of an injury to the Complainant.

The BPS advised that on November 9, 2021, at 9:44 a.m., the BPS had received a call to assist paramedics at a residence in the area of Mapleton Avenue and Essa Road. The first police officer to arrive, Witness Official (WO) #1, wore a body-worn camera (BWC). WO #1 placed a call for assistance and additional police officers, tactical officers, attended the scene. A woman [the Complainant] was apprehended, complained of a sore ankle, and was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) for an assessment.

At 1:15 p.m., the BPS contacted the SIU again and reported that the Complainant had been diagnosed with a fractured left ankle and was being held at hospital under authority of the Mental Health Act (MHA).

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 11/09/2021 at 2:05 p.m.

Date and time SIU responded: 11/10/2021 at 9:43 a.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

43-year-old female declined interview

Subject Officials

SO #1 Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
SO #2 Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
SO #3 Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right

Witness Officials

WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Notes reviewed; interview deemed not necessary

WO #1 was interviewed on November 24, 2021.


The Scene

The scene was neither attended, nor forensically assessed by SIU investigators.

The residence near Mapleton Avenue and Essa Road was a two-storey home designed for single family occupancy. The roadway the residence was on was paved and wide enough to accommodate one lane of traffic in each direction. The roadway met the front lawns of the properties without interruption of either sidewalk or boulevard but was separated by a low curb, commonly referred to as a mountable or rolling curb. There was a nearby intersection controlled by traffic lights.

WO #1’s police vehicle was parked on the roadway opposite an address next to the residence.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [1]

The SIU obtained audio and video records of relevance, as set out below:

BWC Footage - WO #1

Requested on November 10, 2021, and received into the SIU Central Registry on November 19, 2021, the BWC footage began at 10:29 a.m., ended at 11:03 a.m., was in colour, and included audio. The following is a summary of the footage.

WO #1 was depicted arriving at the scene. An ambulance was parked in front of the residence. At 10:30 a.m., WO #1 approached the house and was met by a woman (Civilian #1). WO #1 said he was told by paramedics that Civilian #1’s mother [now known to be the Complainant] had gone for a walk. Civilian #1 indicated she did not know where the Complainant was, but suggested she could be in the home or in the backyard.

Civilian #1 went inside while WO #1 and a paramedic waited by the front porch. The front door remained open, and Civilian #1 could be heard speaking to someone inside before she told WO #1 that the Complainant was in the backyard.

Civilian #1 came back outside and told WO #1 that the Complainant had been “freaking out” and that when she spoke to the Complainant, she would not acknowledge her and acted as if she was not even there. She told WO #1 that the Complainant had been at the hospital the day before but left saying she did not need to be there. Civilian #1 was not aware if the Complainant was on medication.

At 10:31 a.m., WO #1 and the paramedic walked to the backyard and entered through the side gate. The Complainant was sitting on the steps of a deck with a woman (Civilian #2). WO #1 asked the Complainant how she was doing but received no response. The Complainant did not make eye contact, nor did she acknowledge WO #1’s presence. She did speak to Civilian #2 about getting some water from inside the house, stood up, and walked towards the patio door that accessed the house. WO #1 asked the Complainant to speak to him, while Civilian #2 held her by her right hand preventing her from going inside. At 10:32 a.m., WO #1 positioned his back to the patio door and told the Complainant she did not need to go in the house. The Complainant told WO #1 she did not need to do anything, and he had to back off. She turned her back to WO #1 and spoke, quietly, to Civilian #2. WO #1 tried to engage the Complainant in conversation and asked her about her hospital visit of the day before but received no response.

At 10:33 a.m., WO #1 told the Complainant she needed to go back to the hospital to see a doctor. The Complainant did not respond to WO #1 and made two more attempts to get past him and into the house. The Complainant grabbed hold of Civilian #2’s hand and led her off the deck and into the yard. The Complainant walked purposefully toward a side gate in the fence pulling Civilian #2 along by her hand. Civilian #2 pulled back. WO #1 radioed police communications to send another police officer.

At 10:34 a.m., the Complainant walked out of the backyard and onto the sidewalk of the adjacent roadway. She continued holding Civilian #2’s hand, leading her along. She walked down the sidewalk until Civilian #2 was able to stop her. WO #1 said he was “done with it”, took hold of the Complainant by her left arm, and pulled her towards him. The Complainant pulled away, spun, pulled her arm free of WO #1’s grasp, and yelled profanities. WO #1 grabbed both the Complainant’s arms and swung her clockwise causing her to land on the sidewalk. He continued to hold and control her. The Complainant got to her knees and, with her back to WO #1, tried to stand-up. WO #1 pushed on her back and forced her to the ground, on her stomach. The paramedic knelt on the ground beside the Complainant’s upper body, his hand placed on the middle of her back. Civilian #2 stood opposite the paramedic while another man knelt by the Complainant’s head. WO #1 told the Complainant to stop resisting and that they were just trying to help her, and radioed police communications that, “All was in order.”

At 10:35 a.m., WO #1 placed the Complainant’s left hand behind her back and put a handcuff on her left wrist. Her right arm was under her torso and WO #1 asked the paramedic to get it for him. The paramedic pulled the Complainant’s right arm from under her body and placed it behind her back where WO #1 was able to handcuff her right wrist. He told the Complainant not to kick him, rolled her on her back, and assisted her to a standing position before he walked her to his police vehicle. The Complainant walked under WO #1’s escort at a quick pace, without any difficulty, or evidence of a limp.

At 10:36 a.m., WO #1 reached the rear passenger door of his police vehicle and, twice, told the Complainant to stop before he pulled her back towards him by her right arm. He said he did not think she understood the situation and she should not pull on the police. WO #1 opened the rear door with his right hand and held the Complainant with his left. He instructed her to have a seat. The Complainant made no attempt to get inside. WO #1 told her he was not going to tell her again, and to get in the car.

At 10:37 a.m., WO #1 took hold of both of the Complainant’s arms and pushed on her while repeatedly telling her to sit in the vehicle. He told the Complainant not to grab his CEW, turned her, clockwise, and forcefully seated her in the police vehicle. The Complainant, seated, faced WO #1, her feet remaining outside of the vehicle. WO #1 placed his hand on the Complainant’s right knee and told her not to kick him.

A Tactical Response Unit (TRU) officer [now known to be SO #2] took hold of the Complainant’s right leg and told her to put her feet in the vehicle. WO #1 backed-up and SO #2 took hold of both of the Complainant’s legs, and feet, and pushed them into the vehicle. As SO #2 forced her legs and feet into the vehicle, she resisted, straightened her legs, and push her feet back out. A man’s voice told the Complainant to put her feet in the vehicle so she did not get hurt. SO #2 told the Complainant to stop, she was going to go with them, and he was either going to hurt her or she could put her leg in the vehicle. A man’s voice told the Complainant she needed to co-operate, or she was going to get hurt, and they did not want that.

At 10:38 a.m., SO #2 got the Complainant’s left leg and foot into the police vehicle and another TRU officer told SO #2 to step back. A third TRU officer [now known to be SO #3] approached the door. The Complainant was sitting with her left leg inside the vehicle, her right leg extended outward, with her foot wedged against the open door. SO #3, using his left foot, kicked the Complainant’s right leg and foot four times, then bent over and took hold of the Complainant’s legs with his hands. He pushed and pulled on her. The Complainant extended both her legs outside the vehicle and SO #3 grabbed them. SO #3 then backed up and another TRU officer [now known to be SO #1] moved in. Both the Complainant’s legs and feet were extended outside the police vehicle. SO #1 bent over and leaned inside the vehicle. From outside the camera’s view, a police officer asked if SO #1, “Wanted a drive stun.” A TRU officer stood on the exterior side of the open car door when the Complainant foot pushed it open. Her foot wedged against the door. SO #1 leaned into the vehicle and appeared to have a hold of the Complainant’s legs. He pulled them, and then forced them up and down. The pressure on the door released and the TRU officer behind the door closed it slightly.

At 10:39 a.m., the Complainant lay on her back in the back of the prisoner compartment, her legs extended outside the vehicle. SO #1 stepped back and held the Complainant’s left leg with both hands. Another TRU officer reached in and took hold of the Complainant’s left foot, moved it around, and recognized something was physically wrong with her ankle. A man’s voice asked what was wrong with her foot and then asked her what she did to her ankle. WO #1, who was behind the open door, said the Complainant would not talk to anybody and kept walking away from him. SO #1 asked the paramedics to aid the Complainant and the paramedic approached. A TRU officer told him he thought the Complainant kicked her foot hard into the door. The paramedic took the Complainant’s foot and said it was dislocated. When the paramedic backed away, the Complainant sat up, with her feet on the ground. She did not say anything. She looked downward and leaned forward. The police officers told her not to stand up.

At 10:41 a.m., a TRU officer leaned into the vehicle and took hold of the Complainant’s legs. He quickly stood upright and told the Complainant to stop fighting. The Complainant was removed from the police vehicle by two paramedics and some police officers. She was placed on a stretcher. Her hands remained handcuffed behind her back.

At 10:42 a.m., while the Complainant was being strapped onto the stretcher, the BWC audio went silent.
At 10:43 a.m., the Complainant was taken by stretcher to the ambulance. TRU police officers, Civilian #2, Civilian #1, and a man stood on the driveway.

At 10:46 a.m., a police supervisor’s vehicle arrived. WO #1 and another police officer spoke with the police supervisor [believed to be WO #2].

At 10:49 a.m., WO #1 entered the ambulance. The BWC audio re-activated, and the paramedic and WO #1 discussed that the Complainant’s ankle was dislocated, “popped right out”, and possibly fractured.

At 10:51 a.m., WO #1 left, in the back of the ambulance, with the Complainant and, at 11:03 a.m., they arrived at the hospital.

Police Communication Recordings/Computer-assisted Dispatch (CAD) Report

The police communications were requested on November 10, 2021, and received into the SIU Central Registry on November 29, 2021. The CAD report was requested on November 10, 2021, and received in the Central Registry on November 12, 2021.

The communication recordings of November 9, 2021, were disclosed as 142 tracks individually dated and time-stamped from 9:44 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The CAD report was used to assist in summarizing the recordings.

The following is a summary of the police communications recordings.

At 9:44 a.m., the ambulance communications centre called the BPS communications centre and requested police assistance with a patient [now known to be the Complainant] refusing to exit her home to be assessed. The police communicator noted on the CAD report that the original call to ambulance was because the Complainant could not breathe. The police dispatcher noted no police officers were available to attend.

At 10:02 a.m., a BPS communicator spoke with the ambulance communications centre again and received the update that the Complainant still refused to exit her house. At 10:10 a.m., the police dispatcher again noted no police officers were available.

At 10:12 a.m., the police dispatcher broadcasted the address and paramedics requested police because their patient was refusing to come out of her house.

At 10:20 a.m., a note was added to the CAD report indicating the Complainant was trying to flee the residence and, at 10:21 a.m., the police dispatcher passed that information to WO #1.

At 10:22 a.m., WO #1 arrived at the call and six minutes later asked the dispatcher to check the Complainant on the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. The dispatcher responded the Complainant was “clear” on CPIC. WO #1 said the Complainant had gone for a walk to the neighbours and he was going to check on her.

At 10:33 a.m., WO #1 calmly broadcasted, “May I have another unit.” There were some rustling noises in the background. The dispatcher asked for a unit to respond. Two units were dispatched but were not close.

A 10:34 a.m., a transmission radio broadcast that was not clear sounded as if the dispatcher raised a TRU team because she knew them to be in the area. The police officer the dispatcher summonsed asked them to provide directions to residence, and said they were en route.

At 10:35 a.m., in response to a garbled radio transmission, the dispatcher said she still did not have someone on scene with WO #1. WO #1 then broadcasted, “She’s apprehended,” sounding out of breath. The dispatcher requested an additional unit still attend.

At 10:37 a.m., a man’s voice broadcasted that everything was in order and, at 10:39 a.m., a man’s voice asked for a police officer with a police vehicle with a fully caged prisoner compartment to attend to their location. The dispatcher asked for such a unit and that same male voice came back on and told the dispatcher to disregard as the Complainant was going to be transported by ambulance.

At 10:51 a.m., a man’s voice said SO #2 was going to be driving WO #1’s police vehicle to RVH, and the dispatcher noted that on the CAD report.

At 10:53 a.m., WO #2 told the dispatcher WO #1 was riding to RVH in the back of the ambulance and he was going as well. He asked for another police officer to meet the ambulance at hospital.

At 11:10 a.m., the CAD report noted the SIU had been notified.

At 1:20 p.m., the CAD report noted the Complainant had been admitted to hospital, held by authority of the Mental Health Act.

At 2:11 p.m., WO #1 broadcasted the Complainant was “just tasered, and she’ll be good for assault police and another mischief”. The dispatcher added that note to the CAD report.

Communications Recorded Between Police and Ambulance

The record was requested on November 10, 2021, and received into the SIU Central Registry on November 29, 2021.

On November 9, 2021, the BPS recorded a single telephone call from the Georgian Central Ambulance Communications Centre. At 9:43 a.m., that communications centre called the police to request assistance at the Complainant’s residence. The paramedics there reported a 42-year-old female [now known to be the Complainant] refusing to come out of the house to be assessed for a breathing issue. The ambulance communicator did not know if anybody else was in the residence.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the BPS:
  • Event Details Report;
  • Notes of WOs;
  • Officers Witness list;
  • BWC footage – WO #1;
  • Police communication recordings;
  • Procedure - Arrest;
  • Procedure - Mental Illness;
  • Procedure - Emotionally Disturbed and Developmental Disability; and
  • Procedure - Use of Force.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained and reviewed records from the following other sources:
  • Ambulance Call Report - Simcoe Paramedic Service.

Incident Narrative

The following scenario emerges from the evidence collected by the SIU, which included an interview with a police officer who participated in the Complainant’s arrest – WO #1. The investigation was also assisted by the BWC footage of WO #1, which largely captured the events in question. As was their legal right, the subject officials chose not to interview with the SIU or authorize the release of their notes.

In the morning of November 9, 2021, WO #1 arrived at the Complainant’s residence in Barrie to assist paramedics at the scene. The paramedics had been called to the address by the Complainant’s family expressing concern for her well-being. The Complainant refused to cooperate with the paramedics, prompting their call for police assistance. WO #1 spoke with the Complainant’s daughter, who confirmed the family’s concern for the Complainant and indicated that she was located in the backyard.

The Complainant was seated on her back deck, spending time with an acquaintance, when WO #1 and one of the paramedics entered the backyard via a side gate. The officer attempted to engage her in conversation, but she was unresponsive. At one point, the Complainant attempted to enter her home through the sliding glass doors, but she was prevented from doing so by the officer and her acquaintance. The Complainant then exited the backyard, pulling her friend with her, onto the sidewalk by the roadway near her home.

WO #1 followed the Complainant onto the sidewalk and took hold of her arms. The Complainant struggled to release his hold, and was eventually forced to the ground by the officer. While on the ground, WO #1 positioned the Complainant in a prone position and, with the paramedic’s assistance, handcuffed her hands behind her back.

Following the Complainant’s arrest, WO #1 escorted her to his cruiser a short distance away and attempted to place her in the rear passenger seat. The Complainant resisted those efforts. Though the officer had managed to force her into the backseat, he was unable to bring her legs and feet into the vehicle. Her legs were still extended outside the rear passenger door when SO #1, SO #2 and SO #3 arrived to assist.

SO #1, SO #2 and SO #3 – members of the BPS tactical team – had responded to an urgent request for assistance dispatched over the radio. [2] SO #2 was the first officer to insert himself into the struggle. He grabbed the Complainant’s legs and tried to force them inside the cruiser with limited success. SO #3 also took a turn at subduing the Complainant. With her left leg inside the vehicle, SO #3 used his left foot to kick the Complainant’s right leg and foot, which she maintained extended out through the door. SO #1 also grappled with the Complainant to force her completely inside the cruiser. It was he who noticed that her left ankle appeared deformed. The officers disengaged from the Complainant at this time.

With the assistance of the officers, the paramedics removed the Complainant from the cruiser, after which she was placed on a stretcher, loaded into the ambulance and transported to hospital.

The Complainant was diagnosed with a fractured left ankle.

Relevant Legislation

Section 17, Mental Health Act -- Action by police officer

17 Where a police officer has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that a person is acting or has acted in a disorderly manner and has reasonable cause to believe that the person,
(a) has threatened or attempted or is threatening or attempting to cause bodily harm to himself or herself;
(b) has behaved or is behaving violently towards another person or has caused or is causing another person to fear bodily harm from him or her; or
(c) has shown or is showing a lack of competence to care for himself or herself,
and in addition the police officer is of the opinion that the person is apparently suffering from mental disorder of a nature or quality that likely will result in,
(d) serious bodily harm to the person;
(e) serious bodily harm to another person; or
(f) serious physical impairment of the person,
and that it would be dangerous to proceed under section 16, the police officer may take the person in custody to an appropriate place for examination by a physician.

Section 25(1), Criminal Code -- Protection of persons acting under authority

25 (1) Every one who is required or authorized by law to do anything in the administration or enforcement of the law
(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,
is, if he acts on reasonable grounds, justified in doing what he is required or authorized to do and in using as much force as is necessary for that purpose.

Analysis and Director's Decision

The Complainant was seriously injured in the course of her arrest by BPS officers on November 9, 2021. Three officers – SO #1, SO #2 and SO #3 – were identified as subject officials for purposes of the ensuing SIU investigation. The investigation is now concluded. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that any of the subject officials committed a criminal offence in connection with the Complainant’s arrest and injury.

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 authorized or required to do by law.

I am satisfied that WO #1 had legal authority to do what he says he was acting to do, namely, apprehend the Complainant under the Mental Health Act. Given what he had learned via the information communicated to him of the 911 call that had come in from the Complainant’s family, conversation with the Complainant’s daughter at the house (expressing concern for her mother’s mental well-being), and what he gathered personally as he attempted to engage with her in the backyard, there were grounds, in my view, for an apprehension under section 17 of the legislation.

I am further satisfied that the force that was brought to bear against the Complainant did not exceed the ambit of legally justified force. With respect to WO #1, the evidence indicates that the officer took the Complainant to the ground when she physically resisted his attempts to take her into custody. The tactic would appear to have been reasonably available to the officer given the need to overcome the Complainant’s resistance and quickly take her into custody – they were by a roadway at the time and the prospect remained that a protracted struggle on their feet might bring them onto the road. Thereafter, I am unable to reasonably conclude that the force used by the subject officials, namely, their efforts to wrestle control of the Complainant’s limbs and place them inside the cruiser, were excessive. The Complainant steadfastly refused to place her legs inside the cruiser, and the officers were entitled to resort to a measure of force to overcome her resistance. The only acute use of force during this time were the several kicks to the Complainant’s right leg delivered by SO #2. As the kicks were struck after a period in which the officers’ had been unsuccessful in overcoming the Complainant’s resistance, they would appear a reasonable escalation of force commensurate with the situation at hand. It should be noted that these kicks were not unduly forceful, nor were they responsible for the Complainant’s injury.

In the result, as there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the officers who engaged with the Complainant in the course of her arrest acted unlawfully, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.

Date: March 9, 2022

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]
  • 2) It does not appear that WO #1 made a request for “emergency” assistance, but that is how the call for assistance was broadcasted over the radio. [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.