SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-TCI-017


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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 injury a 53-year-old man (the “Complainant”) suffered.

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On January 20, 2022, at 11:52 p.m., the Toronto Police Service (TPS) notified the SIU of an injury to the Complainant.

The TPS reported that, at approximately 10:01 p.m., the Civilian Witness (CW) - a Loblaws Loss Prevention Officer (LPO) - had approached the Complainant outside the Loblaws store located at 60 Carlton Street in Toronto after witnessing a shoplifting incident. The Complainant brandished a screwdriver at the CW and fled the area on foot. The Complainant was located by a paid-duty police officer - the Subject Official (SO) - on the northbound subway platform at College Park where he was arrested and taken to the ground. As a result, the Complainant received injuries to his nose and left arm. Toronto Paramedic Services (EMS) responded and transported the Complainant to Mount Sinai Hospital (MSH). The Complainant was examined and diagnosed with a fractured nose and fractured left radial bone.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 01/21/2022 at 8:30 a.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 01/21/2022 at 10:28 a.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3

Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 0

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

53-year-old male; interviewed; medical records obtained and reviewed

The Complainant was interviewed on January 21, 2022.

Civilian Witness

CW Interviewed

The civilian witness was interviewed on January 21, 2022.

Subject Official

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


The Scene

The interaction between the SO and the Complainant took place on the northbound platform of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) College Subway Station. The scene was not held or examined.

Figure 1 – TPS photograph of the scene

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence[1]

Loblaws Surveillance Camera Video Footage

At 8:18:30 p.m., the Complainant entered the Loblaws store. He had a backpack slung on his back. The Complainant was recorded in several locations within the store selecting items and putting them into a grocery basket.

At 8:21:10 p.m., the Complainant left the store carrying the grocery basket full of items. Five seconds after he left the store, a male wearing a sweater ran out of the store. The Complainant ran on the sidewalk carrying the grocery basket full of items. One second behind the Complainant was the male wearing the sweater.

911 Calls

At 8:21:39 p.m., the CW reported that a robbery had occurred at the Loblaws Store at 60 Carlton Street. A man [now known to be the Complainant] had stolen merchandise, and then threatened security with a screwdriver. The Complainant was on the south side of Carlton Street heading towards Yonge Street and the College Subway. A description of the Complainant’s clothing was provided and he was said to be carrying a small shoe bag. He had merchandise – chocolates - in his possession and had put the screwdriver inside the shoe bag. No one had been injured.

The CW reported that he was returning to the Loblaws Store, and that there was a TPS paid-duty police officer [now known to be the SO] on site with the CW.

The TPS communicator called the TTC and advised them of the description of the Complainant. The communicator said the Complainant had tried to steal merchandise from Loblaws and presented a screwdriver when security officers tried to stop him. The Complainant had entered the College Subway Station about three minutes earlier.

At 8:27:45 p.m., the CW advised that he and the SO had the Complainant in custody at the College Subway Station, northbound platform. The CW said the SO’s police radio did not transmit well in the subway and they might need medical assistance. The CW’s call was transferred to EMS. The CW said he required an ambulance to attend the northbound College Subway Station. He said the Complainant had been arrested for robbery, and that he had been injured during the apprehension and was bleeding heavily from the nose. The Complainant was conscious, alert and bleeding. The CW said there were five police officers on scene. In the background, male voices could be heard, mostly inaudible, saying words to the effect of, “Like really, do you want medical?”

A communicator called the ambulance service and asked that they attend the College Subway Station, northbound platform. The communicator said the Complainant was in custody with a bleeding nose, and had fought with the police. The Complainant was alert and breathing.

TPS Radio Communications

At 8:22:20 p.m., a dispatcher broadcast - “Hotshot” - to units, stating a robbery had occurred at 60 Carlton Street and that the suspect had a screwdriver. A unit was dispatched to attend 60 Carlton Street for a robbery.

At 8:22:45 p.m., the dispatcher advised that the suspect had a screwdriver and was on the south side approaching Yonge Street. The complainant was a LPO. The dispatcher advised the responding unit that the suspect had just entered the College Subway Station. He was described as a male wearing all blue.

At 8:24:20 p.m., the dispatcher provided a description of the suspect and said the suspect had put the screwdriver in a bag.

At 8:28:03 p.m., a paid-duty police officer - the SO - said he had the robbery suspect in custody at the College Subway Station on the platform. He requested an ambulance to attend for the suspect, who had been fighting with him and the LPO. A unit advised they were on scene, and that one person was in custody and bleeding from the nose. The SO reported he had recovered stolen property from the front steps at 30 Carlton Street.

Video Footage from the TTC security cameras

The Complainant arrived at the bottom of the subway station escalator and appeared to be hiding in an alcove. The Complainant had a backpack slung on his back. He periodically looked out onto the platform. A subway train arrived at the station and the Complainant stepped towards it.

The CW arrived on the platform and pointed in the direction where the Complainant had gone. The SO went down the escalator and approached the Complainant. The SO grabbed the Complainant’s left arm and pulled him away from the train.

The SO pushed the Complainant towards a wall. The Complainant pushed back. The Complainant delivered a strike with his right hand to the SO. The SO delivered two right hand punches and one left hand punch to the Complainant’s head area. The CW got behind the Complainant and the latter was wrestled to the floor. The SO delivered a left punch to the Complainant’s face. The SO straddled the Complainant who was lying on his left side. The CW was kneeling on the Complainant’s left side. The CW got up from the floor. The SO delivered a left-hand punch to the Complainant’s face. The SO struggled to gain control of the Complainant’s hands. The Complainant was handcuffed to the back.

The SO tried to speak into his portable radio. The CW was using his cellular telephone.

Two uniformed police officers arrived at the station.

Body-worn Camera (BWC) Footage – the SO

The BWC worn by the SO was activated at 8:25:29 p.m. The CW was walking inside the subway station, followed by the SO. They walked to the subway platform. The CW pointed towards the Complainant, who was standing near the subway train that had just arrived at the station.

The SO grabbed the Complainant by the left arm at his upper bicep and his forearm. He pulled the Complainant away from the train. The Complainant resisted by pushing the SO backwards. The CW grabbed the Complainant from behind. The Complainant was wrestled to the floor by the CW and the SO. The SO straddled the Complainant, who was laying on his left side. The SO said, “Don’t resist,” and the Complainant replied, “You are being unnecessarily rough with me.” The Complainant was now on his back and the SO told him to roll over. The CW was kneeling on the floor holding the Complainant down.

The SO delivered a left-handed punch to the Complainant’s face and he said, “No need for that buddy.” The SO said, “Stop resisting.” The Complainant replied, “I’m not resisting.” The SO said, “Take off your fucking backpack.” The Complainant was rolled onto his stomach and his backpack was removed. There was blood on the floor. The SO said, “Give me your hand.” The CW stood up. There was blood on the Complainant’s coat on the right sleeve.

The Complainant was handcuffed behind his back. The SO said, “Call 911, radio not working.” The CW walked away. The SO said, “You are under arrest for robbery, understand.”

The SO advised the dispatcher that he had an arrested person for robbery at College Station on the north platform. The SO requested an ambulance for the Complainant. The SO advised the dispatcher that the Complainant was bleeding from the nose. The Complainant said, “Yes, you broke my nose buddy.”

A male and a female police officer arrived. The Complainant said, “I tussled with him.” The female police officer said,” This is over, no more fighting, you caused enough problems today.” The Complainant provided his date of birth and said, “He was going to toss me headfirst into the wall, you’re a goof, a fucking goof.” The SO explained to the other police officers that the Complainant began fighting him and had struck him in the nose.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU received the following materials from TPS between January 25, 2022, and February 15, 2022:
  • General Occurrence;
  • Event Details Report;
  • Radio communications;
  • BWC footage from the SO;
  • In-car Camera System Footage;
  • 911 call recordings;
  • TPS Policy - Arrest;
  • TPS Policy - Use of Force; and
  • Written Statement-the CW.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from other sources:
  • The Complainant’s medical records from MSH;
  • EMS Ambulance Call Report;
  • Security camera footage from the Loblaws Store; and
  • Security camera footage from the TTC College Subway Station.

Incident Narrative

The material events in question are clear on the evidence collected by the SIU, which included interviews with the Complainant and a civilian eyewitness, and a review of body worn camera footage and video from surveillance cameras that captured the incident in its entirety. 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 January 20, 2022, the Complainant was confronted by the SO on the northbound platform of the College Subway Station. The Complainant had made his way to the station from the Loblaws Grocery Store at 60 Carlton Street, where he had stolen merchandise. Prior to entering the station, a store security guard – the CW – had followed the Complainant out of the store to tell him he was under arrest and ask that he return. The Complainant refused and brandished a chisel in the CW’s direction. The SO, working a paid-duty at the store, became involved and followed the CW to the College Subway Station.

The SO grabbed hold of the Complainant as the latter waited by an open subway door, and a struggle between the two ensued. Punches were exchanged by the parties. Very quickly, with the help of the CW, the Complainant was forced to the floor. There, the struggle continued for a period. The SO delivered left-handed punches to the Complainant’s face before securing his hands in handcuffs behind his back.

Following his arrest, paramedics attended and transported the Complainant to hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken nose.

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 a serious injury in the course of his arrest in Toronto on January 20, 2022. The arresting officer – the SO – was identified as the subject official in the ensuing 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 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.

By the time the SO laid hands on the Complainant, he understood from the CW that the Complainant had stolen merchandise from the Loblaws Grocery Store and threatened the security guard when he attempted to arrest him. On this record, I am satisfied that the Complainant was subject to arrest for theft and assault.

I am further satisfied that the force used by the SO in aid of the Complainant’s arrest was legally justified. The Complainant reacted to the SO’s physical engagement by resisting his arrest, even striking out at the officer with his right hand as the two struggled on their feet. In the circumstances, I am unable to characterize the several punches the SO delivered in return as excessive. Not only was he faced with a combative individual, the officer would also have been concerned about the earlier reports of a ‘screwdriver’ in the Complainant’s possession and the proximity of the struggle to the subway. Given the need to quickly subdue the Complainant, it would appear that the force used by the officer at this time was commensurate with the exigencies of the moment. The same may be said with respect to the punches delivered by the officer when he and the Complainant were on the floor. Though the SO was straddling the Complainant at this time, it was clear that the Complainant’s fight had not yet abated. Following the punches, the officer was able to restrain the Complainant in handcuffs.

For the foregoing reasons, while I accept that the Complainant’s nose was fractured by the officer in the course of the struggle that marked his arrest, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO comported himself unlawfully throughout the engagement. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case, and the file is closed.

Date: May 20, 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.