SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-PCI-083


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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 42-year-old woman (the “Complainant”) suffered.

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On March 19, 2022, at 1:22 a.m., the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) contacted the SIU and reported an injury to the Complainant.

According to the OPP, on March 18, 2022, at approximately 8:52 p.m., OPP police officers stopped a vehicle on the Chippewa of the Thames First Nation. The police officers believed the Complainant, who had been reported missing, was inside the vehicle. While investigating the three occupants of the vehicle, the Complainant exited the vehicle and ran. A police officer gave chase and apprehended her. They fell into the ditch during the process. The Complainant complained of an injured arm and was taken to the Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital (SMGH) where she was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture to her elbow.

There were three bench warrants in existence for the Complainant’s arrest. She was being held for a bail hearing at the London OPP Detachment.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 03/19/2022 at 2:28 a.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 03/19/2022 at 10:15 a.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

42-year-old female; interviewed; medical records obtained and reviewed

The Complainant was interviewed on March 19, 2022.

Subject Official (SO)

SO Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed

The subject official was interviewed on May 11, 2022.

Witness Officials (WO)

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

The witness officials were interviewed on March 27, 2022.


The Scene

The initial interaction took place between the Complainant and the SO at the entrance driveway to her residence. The Complainant exited the car, which was stuck in the mud, and ran across the road to the front garden of a neighbour’s residence.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [/fn]1[/fn]

OPP Radio Communications

On March 18, 2022, at 8:51:10 p.m., the SO notified OPP communications that he was conducting a vehicle stop at an address on the Chippewa of the Thames First Nation and provided a licence plate number to be checked. The SO requested a second police officer to be sent to his location. WO #1 acknowledged and advised he was responding to the location. WO #3 also advised that he was responding to the location.

The SO received information that the stopped vehicle was a Toyota from Strathroy [vehicle is known to have been a Nissan].

At 8:54:59 p.m., the OPP communicator asked for a status check from the SO. The SO responded that everything was alright and that he had the keys for the vehicle, there were three persons in the car, and he believed one of the persons was the Complainant, whom they had been looking for. He requested a check on a female name [known to have been the name given by the Complainant], and was advised that were no records on file for a person of that name and the birth date provided.

At 8:59:40 p.m., the SO advised he was in foot pursuit of a woman westbound from his location. A female voice could be heard in the background saying, “Let go of me.” The SO advised that his location was east of his vehicle and on the north side of the road. The SO commented, “I told you to stop.” The Complainant stated, “I don’t agree with that.”

WO #1 was having difficulty in finding the SO, who told him he was on the east side of the house. The SO sounded out of breath and continued to give a description of his location. He updated dispatch that he had the Complainant pinned down and that he believed she was on something. The Complainant could be heard in the background saying, “…hospital…you broke my arm, you broke my arm.” The Complainant sounded winded at times, and was speaking while the SO was also speaking, making it difficult to make out what was said. The SO requested an ambulance for the Complainant as she was complaining that her arm was sore because of him.

The SO requested a record check of the Complainant and the results revealed that there were outstanding Criminal Code arrest warrants, she had outstanding Criminal Code charges, and she was reported as a missing person. He explained that the Complainant had been very worked up and it would not have been prudent to read her rights at that time. He advised that he was following the ambulance to Strathroy Hospital and that WO #2 was with the Complainant in the rear of the ambulance.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU obtained and reviewed the following materials and documents from the OPP:
  • Missing Person Report;
  • Event Details;
  • Communication recordings;
  • Arrest and Detention Policy;
  • Use of Force Policy;
  • Notes-the SO;
  • Notes-WO #1;
  • Notes-WO #2;
  • Notes-WO #3;
  • Occurrence Details and Reports; and
  • Warrants – the Complainant.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from other sources:
  • Medical Records from SMGH.

Incident Narrative

The following scenario emerges from the evidence collected by the SIU, which included interviews with the Complainant and the SO – the only witnesses to the events in question.
On March 18, 2022, members of the OPP Middlesex Detachment in Strathroy were on the lookout for the Complainant. She had been reported missing by a member of the public, and there were concerns that she was suicidal. There were also a number of warrants out for the Complainant’s arrest.

In the evening of March 18, 2022, the SO, of the Middlesex Detachment, came across a vehicle in the driveway of a residence on the Chippewa of the Thames First Nation – the home of the Complainant. He observed a female driver in the vehicle and other occupants. Suspecting the Complainant was one of the persons in the vehicle, the officer brought his cruiser to a stop in front of the driveway blocking its path.

The driver of the vehicle had seen the police cruiser and attempted to drive away from the scene. She drove to the right onto the front lawn of the address, became stuck in mud, and exited the driver’s seat to take up in the back seat.

The SO approached the vehicle and observed a male in the front passenger seat and two females in the back. One of them was the Complainant. He told her to exit the vehicle and threatened to break a window to force her out when she refused to do so.

The Complainant exited the rear seat opposite the side the SO was on and attempted to flee on foot. She fell, picked herself up and continued her flight towards a neighbour’s residence. The SO gave chase on foot and caught her on the neighbour’s property.
The two struggled for a period and eventually tumbled into a depression in the ground by the east wall of the house where the officer was able to control the Complainant. The Complainant complained that the officer had broken her left arm.

Responding to a request for assistance by the SO, WO #1 arrived at the scene, assisted in placing handcuffs on the Complainant, and placed her in his cruiser.

An ambulance was called and transported the Complainant to hospital. She was diagnosed with a fracture of the left arm.

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 her arrest by an OPP officer on the Chippewa of the Thames First Nation on March 18, 2022. The officer – the SO – was identified as the subject official 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 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.
The SO was within his rights in seeking to take the Complainant into custody. There were a number of warrants out for her arrest.
The evidence gives rise to two versions of events regarding how the Complainant came to be injured, neither of which give rise to a case for charges against the SO.

There is an allegation that the Complainant’s arm was broken when the SO caught up with her, grabbed her left arm, and pulled it in an effort to bring her to the ground. The source of evidence concedes that she struggled with the SO at this time before she was taken down. The injury in this account appears to have been the unfortunate result of a clash of opposing forces rather than heavy-handedness on the part of the officer.

The SO believes he broke the Complainant’s arm as he lifted her from a seated position following their fall into the depression. There is no suggestion – either by the SO or any other witness - that the officer used unnecessary force as he pulled her up on this occasion.

In the result, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO comported himself unlawfully in his dealings with the Complainant. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.

Date: July 8, 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.