SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OCI-404


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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 serious injuries sustained by a 32-year-old man (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On November 26, 2021, at 4:33 p.m., the Windsor Police Service (WPS) notified the SIU of a serious injury. Reportedly, on November 25, 2021, at approximately 7:24 p.m., the WPS had responded to a ‘person in crisis’ call at Elsmere Avenue. The affected person, the Complainant, had consumed a quantity of drugs and was threatening to harm himself. Officers apprehended him under the Mental Health Act. The Complainant resisted and had to be physically grounded. He was subsequently transported to the hospital.

On November 27, 2021, the hospital notified the WPS that the Complainant had suffered two fractures to his leg. The Complainant would be in the hospital for the next couple of days.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 11/26/2021 at 5:19 p.m.

Date and time SIU responded: 11/27/2021 at 10:46 a.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

32-year-old male; medical records obtained and reviewed

The Complainant was interviewed on December 2, 2021.

Civilian Witnesses

CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed

The civilian witnesses were interviewed between December 1, 2021, and December 3, 2021.

Subject Officials

SO #1 Interviewed, but declined to submit notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
SO #2 Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed

The subject officials were interviewed on January 28, 2021, and February 2, 2022.

Witness Officials

WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed

The witness officials were interviewed on December 7, 2021, and December 8, 2021.


The Scene

The Complainant’s injury occurred in his apartment at an address on Elsmere Avenue, Windsor.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [1]

WPS Custody Video – Prisoner Transport Wagon

The WPS provided a copy of two cameras from the prisoner transport wagon on November 25, 2021. The footage was nine minutes in length.

The rear doors of the transport wagon opened and a man [known to be the Complainant] was standing with his hands handcuffed behind his back. The Complainant was assisted into the back of the transport wagon and sat on the bench near the door. He remained seated but did not move his legs until they arrived at their destination. The Complainant was assisted by two police officers as he went outside. It was evident the Complainant had a leg injury.

WPS Communications Recordings

The WPS provided a copy of the communications recordings from November 25, 2021.

On November 26, 2021, at 6:48 p.m., the dispatcher gave general information about the call at an address on Elsmere Avenue to police officers. The initial call was at 4:00 p.m. and concerned a man [known to be the Complainant] standing on his balcony.

SO #1 and SO #2 were dispatched to the call.

There had been several other calls from other tenants and the landlord about escalating behaviour. The landlord was in the process of evicting the Complainant.

Additional information was provided that the Complainant was on the balcony threatening to kill and slit the throats of other tenants.

The prisoner transport wagon was requested and an officer [known to be WO #1] arrived.

The Complainant was transported to the WPS Detention Unit.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the WPS:
  • Computer-assisted Dispatch Report;
  • List of officers and witnesses;
  • Narrative of WO #1 - Transportation Report;
  • Notes of WOs, SO #2 and an additional officer;
  • Supervisory Report-WO #2;
  • Supplementary Report-Scene Protection;
  • WPS Communication Recordings; and
  • WPS Custody Video.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the following other sources:
  • Medical Record – Waterloo Regional Hospital (the Complainant).

Incident Narrative

The following scenario emerges from the evidence collected by the SIU, which included interviews with the Complainant and both subject officials.

In the evening of November 25, 2021, SO #1 and SO #2 arrived at an address on Elsmere Road, Windsor, following complaints from tenants of the property about their neighbour – the Complainant. The Complainant had reportedly been screaming for hours from his apartment, repeatedly threatening to kill people in the area. The officers spoke with other tenants, who expressed fear about the Complainant’s behaviour.

The Complainant suffered from mental illness and was of unsound mind at the time. He allowed SO #1 and SO #2 entry into his apartment and denied that he had said anything inappropriate. Advised by the officers that he was to be apprehended and taken to hospital for a psychiatric examination, the Complainant demurred. The Complainant was handcuffed and taken into custody after a brief physical altercation.

Following his arrest, it was apparent that the Complainant had suffered an injury. He limped while being helped outside to a prisoner transport van by SO #1 and SO #2.

The Complainant was taken from the scene to hospital where he was diagnosed with a fractured right tibia and held for psychiatric examination.

Relevant Legislation

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.

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.

Analysis and Director's Decision

The Complainant was seriously injured in the course of his arrest by two WPS officers on November 25, 2021. The officers – SO #1 and SO #2 – were identified as subject officials for purposes of the SIU investigation. The investigation is now concluded. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that either subject official 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 required or authorized to do by law.

Given what they had been told of the Complainant’s threatening and disruptive behaviour over a protracted length of time, and what they personally discerned of his mental condition in their dealings with him, I am satisfied that SO #1 and SO #2 were proceeding to lawfully apprehend the Complainant under section 17 of the Mental Health Act. The Complainant spoke of being controlled by an inner entity who was responsible for the threats that had been uttered.

The Complainant refused to go willingly with the officers and was subdued with a justifiable amount of force by the officers. He broke free from the officers’ attempts to take control of his arms, and then clenched his fists and adopted an aggressive posture toward SO #1 and SO #2. The officers reacted by wrestling the Complainant to the ground, with SO #1 and the Complainant falling forward onto their knees before the Complainant was placed into a prone position. This was a reasonable tactic, in my view, as the Complainant would be at a relative disadvantage in that position to continue to resist his arrest. Once on the ground, there was no further struggle, and the Complainant was quickly handcuffed behind his back without further incident.

It is alleged that the Complainant was kicked once to the right leg by each of the officers prior to going to the floor, but it would be unwise and unsafe to place much if any weight on this rendition of events. On the weight of the evidence, it is apparent that the Complainant had lost touch with reality to a significant degree during the events in question.

In the result, while I accept that the Complainant fractured his right tibia in the takedown that preceded his arrest, I am not satisfied that his injury is attributable to any unlawful conduct on the part of the subject officials. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case, and the file is closed.

Date: March 24, 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]


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.