SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OCI-410


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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 42-year-old man (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On December 5, 2021, at 6:10 p.m., the Brantford Police Service (BPS) reported the following information to the SIU.

On December 4, 2021, police officers responded to a call for a man steeling scrap metal at an address on Adams Boulevard. When officers arrived, they approached the Complainant and checked his name against police records. The Complainant heard over the police radio that he was wanted on warrants, and ran from the area. Other police officers arrived to assist in locating the Complainant. The Complainant was spotted running into a deep wooded area. The officers did not pursue him. At 8:48 p.m., the search was terminated.

On December 5, 2021, at 5:58 p.m., BPS received a call from the Brantford Paramedics reporting that a man had been found in the wooded area with blood on his face and unconscious. The man was identified as the Complainant.

The Complainant was taken to the Brantford General Hospital (BGH) where he was admitted and intubated.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 12/05/2021 at 6:48 p.m.

Date and time SIU responded: 12/05/2021 at 7:10 p.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

42-year-old male; not interviewed (could not be located)

Civilian Witnesses

CW Interviewed

The civilian witness was interviewed on December 14, 2021.

Witness Officials

WO Not interviewed, but statement and notes received and reviewed


The Scene

The incident occurred between the rears of businesses that lined Adams Boulevard and Middleton Street north of Henry Street, and a field north of Henry Street and west of the businesses on Middleton Street. The businesses were located in an industrial park that had a watercourse running through it. The watercourse was surrounded with low lying dense brush.

The Complainant was discovered in a field of long grass adjacent to the paramedic station at 303 Henry Street.

The watercourse, designed for the flow of heavy rainwater, was approximately ten metres wide and three metres in depth.

SIU forensic investigators did not attend the scene. SIU investigators did observe the area during a canvass on December 8, 2021.

Forensic Evidence

BPS Global Positioning System (GPS) Data

On request from SIU investigators, the BPS provided GPS data for all BPS vehicles involved in the interaction with the Complainant on December 4, 2021.

The data were consistent with the involved BPS members conducting a search along the watercourse that led north and west from the rear southwest corner of the property at Adams Boulevard. The Complainant was known to have gone north from the rear of a property at Adams Boulevard to the rear of a property at Middleton Street and then west towards a field.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [1]

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

Business #1 Security Camera Video Footage

The initial interaction between the Complainant and a BPS officer (BPS Officer #1) was at the rear of a business on Adams Boulevard. The interaction was captured by a camera located on the northwest corner of the building.

The following is a chronological summary of the relevant information found in a review of the recordings.

At 6:27 p.m., a dark pickup truck backed up to a garbage container on the north side of the building. A male party exited the vehicle, checked the container, and returned to the driver’s seat. The vehicle left eastbound towards Adams Boulevard.

At 6:30 p.m., a dark pickup truck backed up to the rear of the building, and a person exited the vehicle with a flashlight and started checking containers at the rear of the building.

At 7:45 p.m., BPS Officer #1 arrived in the rear lot and stopped his vehicle in front of the Complainant’s vehicle. BPS Officer #1 approached the driver’s door as the Complainant was entering the driver’s seat of the vehicle.

BPS Officer #1 attempted to open the driver’s door and the Complainant could be seen pulling the door closed three times before the door was finally opened. The Complainant then exited the vehicle and walked to the rear driver’s side of the vehicle. BPS Officer #1 followed and could be seen shining his flashlight into the rear bed of the vehicle while speaking with the Complainant.

At 7:46 p.m., the Complainant moved around the rear of the vehicle and was out of sight. BPS Officer #1 walked on the driver’s side of the vehicle back towards his police vehicle.

At 7:47 p.m., BPS Officer #1 walked back along the driver’s side towards the back of the vehicle. The Complainant then walked from the rear of the vehicle to the driver’s door.

At 7:48 p.m., the Complainant walked to the front of the vehicle and proceeded across the front of the vehicle with a flashlight on his head. BPS Officer #1 went in the same direction and was seen walking from the rear of the vehicle towards the driver’s door of the vehicle.

At 7:49 p.m., the Complainant walked from the front of the vehicle to the driver’s door and then towards the rear of the vehicle, proceeding north. The Complainant was not seen again on this video. Other police vehicles were observed arriving in the parking lot.

At 7:56 p.m., a BPS vehicle pulled into the field north of the premise and shone its headlights southwest along the watercourse at the rear of the building.

At 8:03 p.m., two BPS officers could be seen searching the area of the watercourse at the rear of the building and walking north towards 76 Middleton Street.

Business #2 Security Camera Video Footage

Video footage was secured from a business located at an address on Middleton Street. The business was located north and west of the original point of interaction at an address on Adams Boulevard. There was a watercourse that ran between the properties on the west side of Adams Boulevard and the properties on the east side of Middleton Street.

At 7:57 p.m., a man wearing a heavy-hooded camouflaged coat, pants and tall boots was observed along the south fence in the secure-fenced lot of the business compound. The man was moving without issue.

At 7:57 p.m., the man could be seen moving west along the south side of the building and hiding behind a storage shed.

At 8:00 p.m., the man came out from his hiding location and moved to the south gate, trying to open it. After finding it locked, he moved to the south fence and climbed atop a large sack, removed something from his right pocket, brought his hands back in front of himself and climbed over the fence, dropping to the ground on the other side. The man then moved to the northwest corner of Business #3 at Middleton Street, and was last seen south along the west wall of the building.

At 8:03 p.m., two BPS members with flashlights could be seen searching from the east side of the watercourse the back fence line of the property and the watercourse.

Business #3 Security Camera Video Footage

Business #3 was located at an address on Middleton Street.

At 7:46 p.m., a man could be seen running west and then north around the southwest corner of an address on Adams Boulevard, proceeding north along the watercourse that divided the properties of Business #1 and Business #3. There were no BPS members observed chasing after the man. BPS members were observed searching north and west along the watercourse approximately ten minutes after the man fled.

Business #4 Security Camera Video Footage

Business #4 was located at an address on Middleton Street and on the north side of a watercourse that ran west from the rear of Business #1 on Adams Boulevard and along the south side of Business #4’s location.

Between 7:48 p.m. and 8:19 p.m., numerous BPS vehicles and police officers on foot were seen searching the surrounding area of the business as well as the watercourse.

Communication Recordings

The following is a summary of the radio transmissions.

Radio transmissions - December 4, 2021

BPS Officer #1 advised dispatch that he was with someone he had found going through dumpsters. He requested that dispatch check the history for the Complainant. BPS Officer #1 advised dispatch that the Complainant was in a black un-plated Chevrolet Silverado.

Dispatch advised BPS Officer #1 that there were multiple endorsed warrants for the Complainant as well as a list of conditions by which he was compelled to abide. The Complainant was also flagged as ‘violent’.

BPS Officer #1 advised dispatch that the Complainant was running north on Adams Boulevard and had gone behind Business #1’s building. He updated BPS Officer #2, who was also attending, that the Complainant was behind the businesses between Adams Boulevard and Middleton Street. He said the Complainant was wearing hunter’s camo clothing.

BPS Officer #1 advised that he was not chasing the Complainant and was in his police vehicle next to the black Silverado. The vehicle was locked, and the keys were inside. The Vehicle Identification Number was blocked but he believed it was the same vehicle that had been reported stolen at the start of his shift. He advised that he had stopped chasing the Complainant at the corner of Business #1 on Adams Street.

Multiple other units responded to the area to set up a perimeter.

BPS Officer #2 advised that he had observed a male run across Middleton Street west towards the Lowe’s Store.

The police officers set up a new perimeter around Middleton Street to the east, Henry Street to the south and the entrance to 225 Henry Street to the west. BPS Officer #1 joined two officers on foot in a ground search of the area just west of Middleton Street.

BPS Officer #1 advised that he and the two officers on foot were exiting the area because it had dense brush and they were unable to see very far in front of them. At about 8:48 p.m., the WO advised that the officers searching could clear the area.

BPS Officer #1 returned to the black Silverado and had a tow truck operator attend to open the door. The vehicle was confirmed stolen from Waterloo.

Radio transmissions - December 5, 2021

Emergency Medical Services dispatch contacted BPS dispatch and requested assistance at 303 Henry Street. The dispatcher indicated that someone had found a person with head injuries laying in a field and two paramedics were already on site.

BPS Officer #3 and BPS Officer #4 were dispatched to the area just west of Middleton Street at Henry Street. BPS Officer #3 arrived on site and confirmed the identity of the person laying in the field as the Complainant. He indicated that the Complainant was unconscious with laboured breathing.

A staff sergeant advised that the area where the Complainant was found was required to be taped off.

BPS Officer #3 advised that there was blood on the ground. He also stated that the paramedics had left very quickly with the Complainant.

BPS Officer #4 attended BGH with paramedics. BPS Officer #4 updated dispatch from BGH that the Complainant was hypothermic and had suffered a nosebleed from a potential fall, but no other physical trauma.

BPS Officer #4 provided a second medical update stating that the Complainant was responsive to pain stimulus only and medical staff planned to intubate him. The Complainant was going to be transferred to the intensive care unit.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the BPS:
  • Computer-assisted Dispatch Records;
  • Involved Niche (Records Management System) Report;
  • Notes of the WO;
  • Photos of vehicle;
  • Officer Involvement;
  • Communications recordings;
  • GPS data associated with BPS vehicles; and
  • Supplementary Occurrence Report of the WO.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU also obtained and reviewed security camera video footage from several businesses in the area of the incident.

Incident Narrative

The following scenario emerges from the evidence collected by the SIU, which included information derived from a review of security camera video footage that captured the incident in parts. The Complainant could not be located for an interview.

In the evening of December 4, 2021, the Complainant, operating a stolen pickup truck, travelled to the rear of businesses on Adams Boulevard, Brantford, tripping a security alarm in the process. At about 7:45 p.m. he was confronted outside his pickup truck by BPS Officer #1, responding to the area to investigate. Within minutes of their encounter, having overheard on BPS Officer #1’s radio that he was wanted on several warrants, the Complainant fled from the officer on foot. BPS Officer #1 made a radio broadcast announcing what had occurred and asked for the assistance of additional officers to search the area for the Complainant.

The Complainant fled north between the rears of a string of businesses situated on Adams Boulevard and Middleton Street. His path took him at points across and along a water-soaked artificially constructed channel that ran between the businesses. Having made it as far north as Middleton Street, the Complainant travelled south a distance along the front of a business before turning west across the roadway and a vacant field. He continued west and eventually went to ground in a field consisting of dense brush.

Officers responding to BPS Officer #1’s call for assistance organized a search of the area but were unable to locate the Complainant. The search was called off at about 8:50 p.m.

In the afternoon of December 5, 2021, paramedics at the ambulance station located at 303 Henry Street, adjacent to the field in which the Complainant had fled, were advised that the Complainant was in the field moaning. Paramedics attended the area and transported the Complainant to hospital where he was treated for hypothermia.

Relevant Legislation

Sections 219 and 221, Criminal Code -- Criminal Negligence Causing Bodily Harm

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.

221 Every one who by criminal negligence causes bodily harm to another person is guilty of 

(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Analysis and Director's Decision

The Complainant was hospitalized on December 5, 2021, after being found in a Brantford field in medical distress. As his condition appeared connected to a series of events involving BPS officers the day before, the SIU was notified and initiated an investigation. The investigation is now concluded. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that any BPS officers committed a criminal offence in connection with the Complainant’s hospitalization.

The offence that arises for consideration is criminal negligence causing bodily harm contrary to section 221 of the Criminal Code. The offence is reserved for severe cases of negligence that demonstrate a wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons. A simple want of care is insufficient to ground liability; rather, what is required is a marked and substantial departure from the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in the circumstances. In the instant case, the issue is whether there was any want of care in the manner in which the officers dealt with the Complainant, sufficiently egregious to attract criminal sanction, that caused or contributed to his serious injury. In my view, there was not.

BPS Officer #1 was in the lawful execution of his duties when he arrived at the rear of the premises located on Adams Boulevard to investigate the Complainant’s doings. The Complainant had triggered a security alarm when he travelled onto private premises in what, as it turns out, was a stolen pickup truck. He was also wanted on arrest warrants.

Thereafter, I am satisfied that BPS Officer #1 and the other officers who responded to the area comported themselves with due care and regard for the Complainant’s well-being as they set out to find him after he had fled from BPS Officer #1 to avoid arrest. They created a reasonable perimeter that contained the field in which the Complainant would later be discovered. And the search was reasonably called-off after the Complainant had successfully managed to elude them for about an hour. It should be noted that a police dog, often deployed in these very types of law enforcement exercises, was reportedly unavailable to attend in this case.

In the result, as it would appear that the Complainant’s plight was more likely the result of his misadventure than any want of care, let alone criminal want of care, on the part of the involved police officers, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.

Date: March 29, 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.