SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-PCI-411


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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 the serious injuries a 22-year-old woman (the “Complainant”) suffered.

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On December 6, 2021, at 11:10 p.m., the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) notified the SIU of an injury to the Complainant. The OPP reported that at about 8:02 p.m., the OPP received a call about a woman – the Complainant – who was causing a disturbance at a residence and had discharged a fire extinguisher. When Witness Official (WO) #3, WO #4, WO #2 and the Subject Official (SO) responded, the Complainant fled the area. She was subsequently located at Mike's One Stop [1] and tackled by the SO.

The Complainant was injured as a result and was taken to Temiskaming Hospital where she was diagnosed with two fractured clavicles. She was then returned to the OPP detachment and held pending a bail hearing.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 12/07/2021 at 8:42 a.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 12/08/2021 at 1:25 p.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 0

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

22-year-old female; declined to be interviewed

Subject Official

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

Witness Officials

WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Interviewed

The witness officials were interviewed between January 10 and 11, 2022.


The Scene

SIU investigators were not dispatched to the scene, and a scene investigation or examination was not conducted. The scene was visited in the course of the investigation.

The incident occurred in the parking lot at 229 Rorke Avenue in Haileybury. Rorke Avenue was aligned to run north-south with the premise situated on the east side of the roadway. The premise, Mike's One Stop For U, was a business consisting of a convenience store, a Subway restaurant, a Country Style coffee shop and an Esso gas station.

The parking lot was paved; however, at the time of the incident, there was snow and ice patches on various areas of the pavement.

The area was illuminated by a municipal street lamp, overhead lighting at the gas station and two exterior wall lamps on the building. The area in front of the Country Style coffee shop and the parking area in front and to the north was not well lit.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [2]

Convenience Store Surveillance Video

SIU investigators obtained surveillance video recordings from the convenience store around where the Complainant was arrested. Unfortunately, the arrest was not captured by any camera.

OPP Detachment Video Recordings

OPP detachment video recordings released to the SIU included recordings from cameras in the booking area and monitoring the cell in which the Complainant was lodged. The colour video recordings contained no audio.

The booking area video recording captured the Complainant’s arrival in the custody of two police officers. The Complainant appeared to be wearing a sling on her right arm while her left arm was not visible.

OPP Communications Recordings

On December 6, 2021, at 7:58 p.m., a woman identifying herself as the Complainant called 911 from a mobile phone reportedly from her residence. She said she believed the landlord had called police to complain about her, but she was calling “to cancel it ‘cause I’m not, I’m not doing any like, I’m not doing any bizarre-like incident here”.

At 8:06 p.m., a different woman called 911 reporting that the Complainant was causing a disturbance, threatening people in the building and threatening to start a fire. The same woman called back at 8:15 p.m. and 8:19 p.m., requesting police to expedite their response as the Complainant was damaging vehicles in the parking lot. In her third call, she said the Complainant was “…headed to Mike’s One Stop”.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU received the following materials and documents from the OPP between December 7 and 9, 2021:
  • Occurrence Report;
  • Prisoner Custody Report;
  • Prisoner Security Check;
  • Email from OPP-SO declination regarding notes and interview;
  • Event Details;
  • Witness statements (x2);
  • Notes-WO #1;
  • Notes-WO #3;
  • Notes-WO #4;
  • Notes-WO #2;
  • Communication recordings; and
  • Witness List.

Incident Narrative

The following scenario emerges from the evidence collected by the SIU, which essentially consisted of interviews with officers who either participated in the Complainant’s arrest or spoke to the SO in the wake of the incident. The Complainant declined to participate in the SIU’s investigation. As was his legal right, the SO chose not to interview with the SIU or authorize the release of his notes.

In the evening of December 6, 2021, the SO and other officers were dispatched to a residence in the area of Rorke Avenue and Little Street, Haileybury. The OPP were responding to a call reporting that a woman – the Complainant – was uttering threats and damaging property. En route to the scene, following additional information received that the Complainant had left the residence towards a nearby retail plaza, the officers headed for the new location on Rorke Avenue.

The Complainant was in or around the parking lot of the plaza at 229 Rorke Avenue when she first observed a police cruiser. The SO was a passenger in the cruiser. He directed her to stop and then exited after the cruiser came to a stop to give chase as the Complainant fled on foot. The driver of the cruiser, WO #2, also gave chase.

The Complainant had not travelled very far when she was tackled to the ground by the SO, after which she was handcuffed to the back.

Following her arrest, the Complainant was escorted in another police cruiser to hospital when she complained of shoulder pain. She was reportedly diagnosed with fractures of her clavicle bones.

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.

Analysis and Director's Decision

The Complainant suffered serious injuries in the course of her arrest by OPP officers in Haileybury on December 6, 2021. One of the arresting officers – the SO – was identified as the subject official 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 the SO committed a criminal offence in connection with the Complainant’s arrest and injuries.

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 the information the officers had received regarding the Complainant’s damaging and threatening behaviour, I am satisfied that the SO was proceeding to lawfully arrest her when he gave chase and took her to the ground.

I am also satisfied that there is no indication of any excessive force having been brought to bear by the SO in effecting the Complainant’s arrest. Very little is known by way of detail of the mechanics surrounding the takedown. In utterances made to a senior officer after the incident, the SO reported that he tackled the Complainant when she ran from him to evade arrest. The Complainant essentially described the force in similar terms, indicating in brief remarks to the SIU that her injuries were the result of her being taken to the ground “too hard” by the SO. None of the three other officers present at the time witnessed the takedown – they reported arriving at the arrest scene after the Complainant had been tackled. Nor was the incident captured by any security cameras in the area. On this record, I am unable to reasonably conclude that a ‘tackle’ per se was unnecessary, particularly as the Complainant was fleeing at the time and apparently determined to elude police apprehension.

In the result, while I accept that the Complainant’s injuries were the result of the tackle by the SO, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO comported himself unlawfully throughout this matter. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges against the officer, and the file is closed.

Date: April 5, 2022

Electronically approved by

Joseph Martino
Special Investigations Unit


  • 1) One Stop For U at 229 Rorke Avenue, Haileybury, Ontario. [Back to text]
  • 2) 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.